Edmund Zagorski execution stayed, A federal appeals court has granted Tennessee inmate Edmund Zagorski a stay of execution. The death row inmate’s execution was initially scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m.
Federal courts have the authority to delay an execution when a habeas corpus proceeding is pending appeal.
“At a minimum, due process requires that Zagorski be afforded an opportunity to present his appeal to us,” court documents read.
The current appeal stems from Zagorski’s claims of inadequate counsel and ineffective assistance at trial.
Sources close to the case say the death row inmate opted for the electric chair instead of lethal injection for the execution. The state rejected Zagorski’s request to die in the electric chair, according to his attorney.
The last time Tennessee put someone to death by electric chair was 2007.
Zagorski’s request came after the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld that the state’s current lethal injection protocol is constitutional.
The three-drug lethal injection protocol was adopted in January 2018 by the Tennessee Department of Correction as an alternative execution method to the single-drug protocol using pentobarbital. 33 death row inmates filed a constitutional challenge to the new protocol in February as TDOC eliminated the pentobarbital alternative. The three-drug protocol now stands as the only available lethal injection execution method in Tennessee.
Critics say the three-drug cocktail does not work properly, causing “torturous effects.”
Zagorski was convicted of shooting and slitting the throats of John Dotson and Jimmy Porter, of Robertson County, during a marijuana deal in 1983. Governor Bill Haslam denied clemency for Zagorski on October 5.