TN Supreme Court rejects inmates' challenge to electrocution
The electric chair in Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. AP photo
NASHVILLE, TN (AP) - The Supreme Court has rejected a request by death row inmates to challenge electrocution as an alternative execution method.
The court Thursday ruled that the challenge is premature since none of the inmates is currently a candidate for death in the electric chair and won't be unless lethal injection is declared unconstitutional or drugs become unavailable.
The court said future execution orders will require the state to give notice of the method of execution, and a challenge to electrocution may occur then.
The case is part of a lawsuit filed by 34 death row inmates over Tennessee's death penalty protocols.
Tennessee last executed a prisoner in 2009. Since then, legal challenges and problems obtaining lethal injection drugs have stalled new executions.
Last year, the General Assembly passed a law establishing electrocution as an alternative if lethal injection cannot be used.
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