Death row inmate's attorney blasts Tennessee's refusal to use electric chair

The attorney for a Tennessee death row inmate blasted state prison officials for refusing to allow Edmund George Zagorski to choose execution by the electric chair, The Tennessean reported.

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Zagorski, 63, is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Thursday. He was convicted for the April 1983 murders of John Dale Dotson and Jimmy Porter in Robertson County and was sentenced to death on March 27, 1984.

Zagorski asked for the electric chair on Monday, The Tennessean reported. His attorney, Kelley Henry, said it was "the lesser to two evils," WKRN reported.

In a statement Wednesday, prison officials said it was too late to make the choice.

Henry said Zagorski's legal team was hopeful the United States Supreme Court would grant a pending request for a last-minute stay of execution, The Tennessean reported.

“The Tennessee Supreme Court’s divided ruling on the state’s unconstitutional lethal injection protocol forces Edmund Zagorski to choose between two absolutely barbaric methods of death," Henry said. "The state’s three-drug protocol is certain torture. Mr. Zagorski’s lungs would fill with fluid as the lining is burned away by acid. He would be paralyzed, then burned alive chemically from within. With no pain relief, Mr. Zagorski would have to endure this extreme suffering for 10-18 minutes."

According to a Tennessee Department of Correction letter released Wednesday, death row inmates must request the electric chair two weeks before their execution date, The Tennessean reported.

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