NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's attorney general has asked the state Supreme Court to set nine execution dates in a move that bucks the national trend of shying away from using capital punishment.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed the request last week, with seven of the nine men being represented by the federal public defender's office.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Kelley Henry said she was surprised by the request and would oppose the motion.

In Tennessee, the attorney general can request execution dates once juries have delivered death sentences and inmates have exhausted their three-tier appeals process in state courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court then schedules the executions.

Tennessee has executed five people in just over a year with two more executions scheduled in the coming months.

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