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Measure To Allow Electric Chair In Tennessee Headed To Governor's Desk

Measure To Allow Electric Chair In Tennessee Headed To Governor's Desk

CREATED Apr 17, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee could electrocute death row inmates if lethal injection drugs are unavailable under legislation that's headed for Republican Governor Bill Haslam's desk.

The Senate voted 25-3 on Thursday to agree to changes to the legislation made by the House, which approved the measure 68-13 the day before.

The legislation keeps lethal injection as the preferred method for executions, but allows the electric chair if the state were unable to obtain the necessary drugs or if lethal injections were found unconstitutional.

And electrocutions would be allowed regardless of when the crime was committed.

Under Tennessee law, death row inmates could choose to be electrocuted if their crimes were committed before 1999, when lethal injection became the preferred method.

There are 76 inmates on Tennessee's death row, including one woman.

Tennessee's lethal injection protocol uses a sedative commonly used to euthanize animals, but states are exhausting supplies.

The state's last electrocution was in 2007.

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