Tennessee to electrocute second inmate in as many months

Blanche Robertson
December 7, 2018

Miller is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday (0100 GMT Friday).

States have moved away from the electric chair in recent decades - and no state uses electrocution as its main execution method anymore.

Haslam said in a one-sentence statement Thursday that he's declining to intervene in 61-year-old David Earl Miller's planned execution Thursday evening after "careful consideration" of the death row inmate's clemency request.

Both inmates had argued in court that Tennessee's current method, involving the drug midazolam, involves a prolonged and torturous death.

Federal public defender Stephen Kissinger, who represents Miller, said the court didn't consider "years of horrific abuse, sexual assault and neglect that left Miller with post traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues that should have blocked the death penalty".

The 23-year-old woman, who was mentally disabled, was repeatedly beaten, stabbed and dragged into the woods after going on a date with Miller.

Miller chose electrocution, as did Edmund Zagorski a month ago.

An undated

Separately, Miller has pending two last-minute petitions asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution.

Miller believes death by electrocution would be less painful than by the state's lethal injection mix, court documents said.

Miller was convicted of first-degree murder for the May 1981 killing of Lee Standifer.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam denied a clemency application made by Miller's legal team.

The courts have said Miller can't challenge the constitutionality of the electric chair because he chose it, even though his attorneys have argued the choice was coerced by the threat of something even worse. It was only the second time Tennessee had put an inmate to death in the electric chair since 1960.

The electric chair is an option only for Tennessee death row inmates whose crimes occured before 1999. He'll eat a final meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and coffee before he's strapped in the electric chair - which he asked to be used to kill him instead of lethal injection, the Tennessean reported.

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