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According to a USAToday.com article, Tennessee has found a solution for the United States’ lack of injection drugs for death-row inmates.
The state plans to bring back the electric chair.
Earlier this week, a bill was signed into law by the state’s governor, Bill Haslam, that would allow the state to electrocute death row inmates in the event prisons are unable to obtain the drugs.
In doing so, Tennessee became the first state to reintroduce the electrocution without giving its death-row inmates an option.
“There are states that allow inmates to choose, but it is a very different matter for a state to impose a method like electrocution,” Richard Dieter, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said. “No other state has gone so far.”
Dieter said he expects legal challenges to arise if the state decides to go through with an electrocution, both on the grounds of whether the state could prove that lethal injection drugs were not obtainable and constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.
Currently, Arizona is one of 35 states that uses lethal injection and one of three that uses the gas chamber (last in 1999).
According to a USA Today note, New Mexico, Connecticut and Maryland have abolished the death penalty, however it’s not retroactive — prisoners on death row will still be executed.
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