Tennessee inmate declines to choose execution method

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee death row inmate has declined to choose the method of his execution scheduled for mid-August. Making no choice would result in death by lethal injection.

Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor said in an email Friday that Stephen West declined to pick his method of execution when given the opportunity. She says that by policy, the method would default to lethal injection.

West’s execution is scheduled for Aug. 15. The 56-year-old was convicted for the 1986 murders of a Union County mother and daughter. He received a death sentence in 1987.

Four inmates have been executed in Tennessee since August 2018. Two died by the state’s preferred method, lethal injection, and two chose the electric chair, arguing it would be a less painful way to die than the three-drug method.

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