Split Appeals Court Delays Tennessee Execution

The Supreme Court still could allow Edmund Zagorski’s execution on Thursday but he has requested the electric chair, which the state rejected.

In a surprise move amid a flurry of legal filings, a federal appeals court granted a request to delay Edmund Zagorski’s execution in Tennessee, which was scheduled for Thursday, reports The Tennessean. It still is possible that the U.S. Supreme Court could allow the execution to go forward. Zagorski asked federal courts to reconsider unexamined claims of ineffective trial counsel.  A federal judge in Nashville rejected that argument but a panel of 6th Circuit judges, by a 2-1 vote, said the argument was provocative enough to merit full consideration.

It was the latest in a series of legal wrangling over the method and timing of Zagorski’s execution. A parallel request to delay the execution based on a challenge to Tennessee’s lethal injection drugs is pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. Separately, Zagorski continued to push for the use of the electric chair if he is executed. He asked the state to use it this week after a Tennessee Supreme Court decision that found the state’s lethal injection drugs to be constitutional. The state rejected that request, saying Zagorski had missed the deadline to choose the electric chair. Death row inmates can choose the electric chair if their crime occurred before 1999. While state law doesn’t give a deadline, prison protocol requires notification two weeks before an execution date.

from https://thecrimereport.org