Questions About Who Would Get the Electric Chair

SHEILA BURKE | Associated Press

NASHVILLE (AP) – Lawyers and others disagree on whether a bill that passed in the Legislature could legally force death row inmates with older convictions to die by electric chair if lethal injection drugs aren't available.

The Tennessee Legislature passed a bill that would allow death by electrocution if drugs aren't available. Gov. Bill Haslam has yet to sign the bill into law.

An amendment on the bill said the law would apply to all condemned prisoners, regardless of conviction date. Current law gives inmates who committed crimes before 1999 the choice of whether they want to die by electric chair or lethal injection. Some lawyers say the government can't change the method of death for inmates who were already convicted.

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