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Another Tennessee Death Row Inmate Chooses Electrocution

Tennessee's electric chair was used for the first time in more than a decade this month and only the second time in more than 50 years. Electrocution is still available to death row inmates whose crimes were committed before 1999.
Tennessee's electric chair was used for the first time in more than a decade this month and only the second time in more than 50 years. Electrocution is still available to death row inmates whose crimes were committed before 1999.

Hear the radio version of this story.

With a handwritten note, Tennessee death row inmate David Earl Miller has chosen to die by electric chair. He selected the method of death Monday afternoon.

Miller would be the second electrocution this year, if his execution is carried out as scheduled on Dec. 6. He previously contested the state's options for execution, even joining several other prisoners in asking to die by firing squad. Courts denied the request.

If Miller had not acted, he would have been put to death using the state's preferred method, which is lethal injection. But Miller and many of Tennessee's death row inmates have argued that the current three-drug cocktail is unreliable and likely to cause drawn out pain. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled against the challenge.

Miller was convicted in the early 1980s of killing a woman with an intellectual disability who he had been dating. He had his own mental health challenges with "recurrent episodes of psychosis," according to a forensic psychiatrist.

Another convicted murderer, Edmund Zagorski, opted for the electric chair this month in protest of the state's lethal injection protocol. That was only Tennessee's second use of electrocution since 1960. Miller would be the third.

Only prisoners whose crimes were committed before 1999 have the option of the electric chair.

Copyright 2018 WPLN News