Nation & World News

Tennessee Gov. OKs Allowing Electric Chair For Executions

By Scott Neuman on May 22nd, 2014

Tennessee’s governor has signed a bill that would allow the state to use of the electric chair if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

A spokesman for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam confirmed to The Associated Press that the legislation had been signed after passing the state Senate by a 23-3 vote and the House by a 68-13 margin.

The AP reports:

“Richard Dieter is the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. Dieter said Tennessee is the first state to enact a law to reintroduce the electric chair without giving prisoners an option.”

“Dieter says he expects legal challenges to arise if the state decides to go through with an electrocution.”

Currently, Tennessee death row inmates can opt for the electric chair instead of lethal injection, but the state gives them a choice. The new law says the state can unilaterally mandate the chair if lethal injection drugs can’t be obtained.

The drugs have been in short supply. As NPR’s Alan Greenblatt reported last month:

“In 2011, the European Union imposed an embargo on exports of drugs used to carry out the death penalty in America, cutting states off from their primary suppliers of sodium thiopental, the anesthetic they had most relied on.

“Some states consequently have tried out new drugs and dosages in recent months. Some have turned to unregulated compounding pharmacies to make the drugs.”

The Tennessee governor’s signature follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday that halted the execution by lethal injection in Missouri of death row inmate Russell Bucklew. The court granted a stay and kicked the case back to a lower federal court.

Bucklew’s execution, if it had taken place as scheduled, would have been the first since last month’s botched lethal injection of Oklahoma inmate Clayton D. Lockett.

Lockett died of a heart attack after his execution was aborted.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during an NFL football news conference at Gillette Stadium, on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass. Belichick defended the team against allegations they had cheated by using underinflated footballs in a championship game.

Patriots’ Coach: Team ‘Followed Rules’ On Inflation Of Footballs

Bill Belichick says that after an exhaustive investigation he determined that temperature differences between the locker room and the field inadvertently caused the discrepancies.


Crew members carry a bag containing the body believed to be a victim of AirAsia Flight 8501 to a waiting helicopter on the deck of Indonesian Navy ship KRI Banda Aceh, on the Java Sea, Indonesia, on Friday.

First Attempt To Lift AirAsia Fuselage Fails

Ropes supporting the core piece of wreckage as it was lifted from the sea floor snapped just as the fuselage neared the surface, officials say.


A passerby watches a TV news program reporting two Japanese hostages, Kenji Goto, left, and Haruna Yukawa, held by the Islamic State group, in Tokyo, on Friday.

Video Purports To Show Beheaded Japanese Hostage

The unconfirmed video was released after a deadline to pay a $200 million ransom for the lives of Kenji Goto and Haruna Yakawa passed. It appears to change the Islamic State kidnappers’ demands.


Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a street near the burning building after a shelling by pro-Russian rebels of a residential sector in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on Saturday.

Ukraine Rebel Leader Claims New Attack On Mariupol

The attack follows a rebel rocket barrage that hit an open-air market in the port city, killing at least 15 civilians.


A woman cadet of National Cadet Corps (NCC) walks past the saluting base during the full dress rehearsal for Republic Day rehearsals in Kolkata, India, on Saturday. President Obama will be the chief guest at the parade.

Obama To Cut Short India Visit For Stop In Saudi Arabia

The president will shave one day from the planned three-day visit to India to make room in his schedule to visit the new Saudi king in Riyadh.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments