David Earl Miller, 61, was the longest-serving inmate on Tennessee’s death row. A federal appeals court refused to delay the execution because Miller and other inmates had filed suit challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection and the electric chair.
Tennessee death row inmate David Earl Miller, 61, was electrocuted Thursday evening. He is the third person executed this year and was the longest-serving inmate on Tennessee’s death row, The Tennessean reports. Miller was sentenced to death for the 1981 murder of 23-year-old Lee Standifer of Knoxville, who was mentally disabled. Both the U.S. Supreme Court and Gov. Bill Haslam declined to intervene and stop the scheduled execution. No one from Standifer’s family came to witness the death.
The execution occurred similarly to Edmund Zagorski’s electrocution a month earlier. Media spoke with Standifer’s mother on the phone. She said her daughter lived a life of love, of passion and ultimately her family didn’t want Miller to ever be out on the street again. “In the state of Tennessee, we reserve the ultimate and irrevocable penalty of death only for the most heinous of crimes. Lee Standifer was a special needs woman living a full and productive life,” said Lt. Gov. Randy McNally. Miller was one of four death row inmates to file suit in November, arguing that a firing squad would be more humane than either of the state’s two execution methods. Tennessee law does not allow a firing squad execution. A federal appeals court refused to delay Miller’s execution while he challenged the constitutionality of lethal injection and the electric chair.