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Death Row Inmates Dying Of Natural Causes

Death Row Inmates Dying Of Natural Causes

CREATED Mar 31, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Many inmates awaiting execution on Tennessee's death row never make it to the execution chamber.

Since 2000, nine death row inmates have died of natural causes and one committed suicide. Six have been executed.

In November, inmate Paul Dennis Reid died of heart disease in a hospital while awaiting execution for a 1997 killing spree that led to seven deaths. The newspaper reports that the state spent nearly $600,000 on Reid's prison housing and medical costs.

Death penalty supporters said such costs prove that the criminal justice system takes too long and allows two appeals. Opponents said the costs prove that the death penalty is a waste of money and that life sentences would save taxpayers millions.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)