Tag Archives: execution

Finding an Execution Drug for TN ‘a Top Priority’

State officials are still looking for a drug to use in Tennessee executions, though no death row inmates are scheduled to die anytime soon, the Tennessean reports.
Department of Correction Commissioner Derrick Schofield said the state’s lethal injection protocol is a top priority and he is pursuing alternative drugs. He declined to detail what options he was considering, but other states have turned to an alternative drug used in animal euthanasia.
“I’ve been a little cautious talking about this because some of it turns into litigation,” Schofield said in a recent interview. “I don’t have a time frame, but it’s a matter of urgency for us. We have been pushing and working. I want to assure that we haven’t been sitting on our hands.”
Eighty-four people sit on Tennessee’s death row. Sixty-seven have been there for more than 10 years. Six prisoners have been executed since 1960.
For death penalty opponents, the sudden shortage in 2011 of the anesthetic sodium thiopental has been a godsend.
Five states in recent years decided it was easier and cheaper to do away with their death penalties than to keep them.
“We’re very relieved,” said the Rev. Stacy Rector, with Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
“Unfortunately for us, until we get the (death penalty) statute repealed, it’s always going to be a concern.”

TN Provided Execution Drugs to Alabama

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has shared a drug used in the lethal injection of condemned prisoners with Alabama, which had none on hand for a scheduled execution.
State prison officials in Tennessee say they did nothing improper in lending eight grams of sodium thiopental to Alabama and did not charge for the drug, but expected it to be returned when Alabama again found a supplier, according to The Tennessean.
“We have not acted illegally,” said Dorinda Carter, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Correction.
The drug was intended for the May 19 execution of Jason Oric Williams in Alabama.
Since the loan was made, federal agents have seized supplies of the drug from states, including Alabama and Tennessee.

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Judge Upholds TN Execution Plans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge on Wednesday upheld the state’s revised execution plan to require the prison warden to confirm that the condemned inmate is rendered unconscious by the first drug injected in a three-drug cocktail.
Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled Wednesday that the state’s plan appears to address concerns that the inmate could be conscious and in severe pain when the later drugs are injected.
Last year the Tennessee Supreme Court halted the executions of four prisoners as Bonnyman considered the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty procedures.

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