Tennessee bill to offer electric chair as death sentence alternative

If passed, death by electrocution would be considered when lethal injection is not available.
Electric Chair (generic)
Electric Chair (generic)(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 8:35 AM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee lawmakers are suggesting the allowance of the electric chair as an alternative to lethal injections for persons sentenced to death.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Powers and Sen. Frank Nicely, would authorize death by electrocution if the Department of Correction (DOC) is unable to follow the lethal injection protocol, according to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Protocol violations include if one or more of the ingredients necessary to carry out a sentence of death by lethal injection is unavailable or if death by lethal injection is held to be unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The introduction of the alternative method would not change the number of death sentences carried out, according to the bill.

The bill was introduced on Jan. 31 and scheduled to go before the Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Feb. 14 but was deferred to Feb. 21.