Tennessee death row inmates demand firing squad as method of execution

Tennessee

Death row inmates have filed suit against the state of Tennessee to add execution by firing squad as an option.  

Four inmates claim death by fire squad would be faster and less painful than lethal injection and electrocution. 

The inmates are David Earl Miller, Todd Sutton, Terry Lynn King and Stephen Michael West, all convicted of capital crimes and sentenced prior to January 1, 1999.  

The 125-page legal brief claims a firing squad is feasible because the state has firearms, ammunition, and trained marksmen. It adds the Big Buck Shooting Range is located at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution where executions are already carried out. 

According to the lawsuit, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah all allow execution by firing squad. 

As an alternative to the firing squad, the inmates want the state to use pentobarbital for executions. This is a one-drug protocol they claim would not cause severe pain. Pentobarbital has been used for executions by Texas, Georgia and South Dakota. But the state has said in the past that the drug has been hard to obtain. 

Tennessee executed Billy Ray Irick by lethal injection on August 8, 2018

Edmund Zagorski chose the electric chair for his execution on November 1, 2018. 

David Miller, from Knox County, is scheduled to be put to death on Dec. 6. He was convicted of killing a mentally-handicapped young woman in 1981.  

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