Man on death row for 36 years set to be executed

Death row inmate 61-year-old David Earl Miller will be executed tonight by the electric chair at 7 p.m. tonight

Death row inmate 61-year-old David Earl Miller will be executed tonight by the electric chair at 7 p.m. tonight

Described by a psychologist as a man consumed with rage, Miller exploded on May 20, 1981 while on a date with 23-year-old Lee Standifer. Miller's execution would be the third in Tennessee this year.

The 61-year-old inmate is scheduled to die in the electric chair at 7 p.m. that day.

Convicted murderer Edmund Zagorski, who was executed on 1 November, had also chosen the electric chair over lethal injection, despite proponents saying this method is painless and humane.

The Supreme Court in October denied a challenge by Tennessee death row inmates to the state's mix of lethal drugs, which have led to some flawed executions in recent years. They pointed to the August execution of Billy Ray Irick, which took around 20 minutes during which he was observed coughing and huffing before turning a dark purple.

Miller's attorney filed a clemency application that claims his client's abusive childhood and mental state at the time put him "far outside that group of offenders who are the worst and for whom the death penalty is reserved".

David Earl Miller was sentenced to death in the murder of Lee Standifer. A federal appeals court did not side with Miller, so now the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in.

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Miller believes death by electrocution would be less painful than by the state's lethal injection mix, court documents said. Zagorski's execution was delayed about three weeks after he requested the electric chair amid a last-minute flurry of legal maneuvers.

Gov. Bill Haslam earlier Thursday turned down a request to commute Miller's sentence to life in prison.

The builder of Tennessee's electric chair warned that it could malfunction, but Zagorski's execution seemed to be carried out without incident. It was only the second time Tennessee had put an inmate to death in the electric chair since 1960.

An inmate in the USA has chosen to be executed in the electric chair after arguing that lethal injections are not humane. But Florida adopted lethal injection, and the case was dropped.

The electric chair is an option only for Tennessee death row inmates whose crimes occured before 1999.

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