Weeks after Tennessee's first execution in decades, gubernatorial candidates are weighing in about their thoughts on the issue.

Both Republican Bill Lee and Democrat Karl Dean largely stayed out of the debate when 59-year-old Billy Ray Irick was put to death, the first such execution in the state in nearly a decade.

Both candidates refused to say whether Gov. Bill Haslam should have intervened in the case, but on the broader issue -- Lee said he believes the death penalty is appropriate in the most heinous crimes.

Dean explained his stance to 10News earlier this month, saying he believes there are legitimate questions about the death penalty that needs to be discussed and answered. If he were elected governor, Dean said he would 'follow the law' when it came time for a decision.

Voters in Tennessee will head to the polls to choose a new governor on Nov. 6.

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