The Latest: Federal judge bars execution by lethal injection

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on Thursday’s scheduled execution of Tennessee inmate Edmund Zagorski (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

A federal judge has ordered the state of Tennessee not to proceed with plans to execute Edmund Zagorski by lethal injection after it refused his request to die in the electric chair.

U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger granted a motion by Zagorksi’s attorney not to execute Zagorski Thursday by lethal injection.

Zagorski had asked to be executed by electrocution because he said the three-drug cocktail the state used constituted cruel and unusual punishment and violated his constitutional rights. That choice is permitted by Tennessee state law.

Trauger’s order is the second in two days to halt the effort to execute Zagorski, who was sentenced to die in 1984 for the killing of two men during a Robertson County drug deal. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late Wednesday that the execution couldn’t proceed until a challenge by Zagorski about his legal representation was resolved.

Both orders have been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.


11 a.m.

Legal challenges continue to surround a Tennessee death row inmate whose execution has been temporarily halted.

Edmund Zagorski had been scheduled to be executed Thursday evening until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on Wednesday over questions of whether Zagorski had adequate representation.

In return, the state has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate the decision, arguing the federal appeals court disregarded Tennessee’s interest in enforcing “criminal judgments.”

However, even if the delay is overturned, other legal challenges are still pending before the Supreme Court seeking to halt both the timing and method of the execution.

Zagorski was sentenced in 1984 for the slayings of two men during a drug deal in Robertson County.

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