USA Today reports that the state of Tennessee will not use the electric chair to execute Edmund Zagorski. Now 63 years old, he has been on death row for 34 years and is scheduled for execution this Thursday, and he requested the electric chair to be used.
Zagorski murdered two men in the spring of 1983, shooting them and slitting their throats before stealing their money and truck. The two victims were expecting to buy 100 pounds of marijuana from Zagorski.
He requested the chair as his method of execution just after the Tennessee Supreme Court determined that lethal injections could be used again. This is the second inmate to be executed by the state this year.
Defense attorneys appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, trying to stop the execution from moving forward.
Zagorski, along with 31 other inmates, sued the state to block a controversial three-drug cocktail from being used for lethal injections. Experts even testified that the drugs would cause severe pain during an execution, which goes against the Constitution’s requirement that punishment may not be cruel and unusual.
The state’s Supreme Court refused to hear the arguments because the plaintiffs in the case did not provide an alternate drug for the injections.
The Tennessee Department of Corrections refused the request for an electric chair, stating it was too late to avoid a lethal injection.
*Photo credit Associated Press