Inmates want to add firing squad as execution method on Tennessee’s death row

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Lawyers for four Tennessee death row inmates are asking a federal judge to allow them to choose a firing squad as an alternative to Tennessee’s lethal injection or electric chair execution methods.

The inmates filing suit include David Earl Miller, the next man set to die in Tennessee for his crimes.

Miller, sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of Lee Standifer, 23, in Knoxville, is scheduled to be executed Dec. 6. The suit asks the court to postpone Miller’s execution until the court can hear the case.

Under Tennessee’s protocol, Miller will need to select his method of execution Tuesday, 30 days before his execution. The lawsuit asks the court to stop state officials temporarily from presenting Miller with that choice. 

The lawsuit was filed a day after Edmund Zagorski, 63, was executed via electric chair for the 1983 murders of John Dotson and Jimmy Porter. Zagorski robbed, shot and slit their throats after they sought to buy marijuana from him in Robertson County north of Nashville. 

► Nov. 2: Supreme Court will hear death row inmate Curtis Flowers’ review
► Nov. 1: Tennessee uses electric chair to execute double murderer
► Oct. 29: South Dakota executes inmate whose brother was put to death in Okla.

Before his death, Zagorski’s lawyers filed multiple challenges to his execution.

They won one: Zagorski was granted the right to choose the chair after his legal challenge to Tennessee’s three-drug lethal injection protocol failed. His lawyers argued death by electrocution would be quicker but maintained that both methods are unconstitutional.

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