Tennessee Death Penalty News

Started by Jeff1857, April 10, 2008, 02:24:02 AM

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April 10, 2008, 02:24:02 AM Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 04:59:56 AM by Jeff1857
District attorneys in Tennessee say they want to kill a death penalty study committee charged with reviewing how the state carries out capital punishment.

Prosecutors argue the 16-member panel has a majority who oppose the death penalty, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Monday.

James Wally Kirby, executive director of the Tennessee District Attorney Generals Conference, has gone so far as to tell state legislators there is a concerted effort among some committee members to abolish the death penalty.

I'm not comfortable with the makeup of the committee, Kirby said. I don't know of any of our members that are in favor of extending the committee for another year.

The committee has representatives from the state attorney general's office, local district attorneys, public defenders, the Tennessee Bar Association, criminal defense lawyers and victims' rights organizations, the newspaper said.

Since being created last year, the committee has considered such things as the costs of imposing the death penalty, who is sentenced to death, and the quality of the lawyers representing the accused.


April 17, 2008, 05:30:03 PM Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 05:01:19 AM by Jeff1857
A brief reprieve may be over for inmates on Tennessee's death row, as the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for executions by injection to resume in this country.

Within hours of the ruling, the Tennessee attorney general's office was preparing to ask the courts to lift stays of execution on several inmates whose scheduled execution dates passed months ago.

Executions have been on hold around the country while the high court considered a Kentucky case that questioned whether injection is a humane method of execution. On Wednesday, the court ruled that it is, allowing the most frequently used method of execution in this country to resume.

For Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, a death penalty supporter, the ruling came as a validation. "What it means is that the Supreme Court has said, as I've been maintaining for five years, I guess now, is that lethal injection is a legitimate constitutional method of execution," Bredesen said.

If executions resume in Tennessee, they probably will begin with the case of Edward Jerome Harbison, who was scheduled to die in January for beating an elderly woman to death while robbing her home. But questions about Tennessee's lethal injection protocols prompted first a federal judge and then the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals to order a stay of execution not just for Harbison, but for every lethal injection death penalty case in the state in September.

State moves forward
Tennessee, like Kentucky and many other states, administers a three-drug cocktail at executions: a sedative, then a paralytic, and finally a drug to stop the heart and lungs. The issue that concerned the courts is whether there are enough safeguards in place to guarantee that the drugs are administered properly, and in the right order. If not, a prisoner can endure an excruciating death, wide awake and unable to move as the final lethal injection kills him.

As far as the Tennessee attorney general's office is concerned, the Supreme Court ruling settles the matter.

"We think that the Supreme Court's decision ... supports the state's position in Harbison that its lethal injection procedure is constitutional," the office said in a statement Wednesday. "The state will file a motion promptly asking the 6th Circuit to allow the Harbison appeal to go forward."

If the 6th Circuit lifts its stay of execution, it would be up to the state Supreme Court to set a new execution date.

Harbison's attorney, Steve Kissinger, told The Associated Press that his appeal would go forward and that the Kentucky case ruling did not an swer all the questions he had raised.

Two other Tennessee inmates have been granted stays of execution pending the outcomes of both the Kentucky case and the Harbison case.

A federal judge issued a stay of execution in December for Paul Dennis Reid, who has been sentenced to death multiple times for a series of slayings at Middle Tennessee fast-food restaurants. Earlier that same month, another federal judge postponed the execution of Pervis Payne, who was convicted of fatally stabbing a Millington woman and her 2-year-old daughter in 1987.

There are 96 inmates on Tennessee's death row.

Justices want scrutiny
While the Supreme Court turned back the constitutional challenge to lethal injection by a vote of 7-2, justices warned states to take a careful look at their lethal injection protocols.

Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion left open the possibility of future challenges if states refuse to adopt alternative methods that significantly reduce the risk of severe pain.

Tennessee has spent the past year taking a hard look at its lethal injection methods. The governor ordered a 90-day hold on executions last year, pending a review of the state's protocols.

State Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, chairs the legislature's Death Penalty Task Force, and while he supports the death penalty, he agrees that there is room for improvement in Ten nessee. He favors a change in the drug regimen -- either a single injection, like the one used in animal euthanasia, or getting rid of the paralyzing drug that can mask a botched execution -- and better medical supervision at executions.

Once those safeguards are in place, Jackson said, "I think we should push forward on executions."

"Justice delayed is justice denied. There are several vicious killers (whose) day of reckoning has been postponed," he said.
Let's ride!!!!


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Members of a death penalty review board said they would resume meetings this week to analyze the state's criminal justice system.

Two of the board's subcommittees will meet Thursday and Friday to review a range of topics like the appeals process for capital cases, evidence collection and police interrogations.

State Sen. Doug Jackson, a co-chair on the committee, said the appeals process takes too long in death penalty cases.

One committee was expected to look at the possibility of direct appeals to the state Supreme Court, instead of moving through the state Court of Appeals first.

The board was made up of lawmakers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims rights groups and others who make recommendations to the General Assembly.
I don't know what TN is waiting for unless there's something pending in a court somewhere.


ScoopD (aka: Pam)

HA!  I beat your happy ass to posting this one.  Check the news section of the main site..    I did it earlier..  lol    :P
<br /><br />If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -Thomas Paine<br /><br />My reason for supporting capital punishment: My cousin 16 yr. old Amanda Greenwell was murdered in March of 2004 at the hands of serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones.


June 20, 2008, 02:29:33 AM Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 02:35:54 AM by gabmat

I don't know what TN is waiting for unless there's something pending in a court somewhere.

I think this answers your question, Jeff:

AG: Executions on hold during lethal injection challenge
Associated Press - June 19, 2008 3:15 PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state Attorney General's office says scheduled executions will remain on hold until a decision is made in its appeal of a federal judge's ruling that the state's three-drug method of lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.

Other states have resumed executions since the U.S. Supreme Court turned back a constitutional challenge to the lethal injection procedure in Kentucky.

But Tennessee faces an additional legal challenge brought by death row inmate Edward Jerome Harbison last year.

U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger ruled in September the state's lethal injection procedure amounts to cruel and unusual punishment because of the "substantial risk of unnecessary pain" to the inmate.

Trauger barred the state from using the method until it addresses problems with training and medical expertise.

Elizabeth Ryan, senior counsel with the AG's office, said Thursday that once a ruling is made, they will look at resuming executions.

Source: http://www.wreg.com/Global/story.asp?S=8526188

Also see this forum's Edward Jerome Harbison thread.


I HATE TENNESSEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ScoopD (aka: Pam)

we all do hun, we all do...   

FREAK will get his date with the gurney (or chair). Have faith.
<br /><br />If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -Thomas Paine<br /><br />My reason for supporting capital punishment: My cousin 16 yr. old Amanda Greenwell was murdered in March of 2004 at the hands of serial killer Jeremy Bryan Jones.


Yeah I'm waiting on Freak for ya too Cyn. I hope all this gets settled in tennessee soon and they will join the party. Thanks gab I thought there was something but I didn't know what is was.


Plan your vacations cause there WILL be a party all night in Nashville.  They execute late but we'll still be partying when the sun comes up


I haven't been here long enough to catch up with the tens of thousands of posts here, nor with the reasons everyone is here. I'm sure, after Cynthia's reply, that she's a TN MVS. Is that correct? Can someone please increase my learning curve?



its from an antis site but its the case information


oh, and Connie is my mother


Thanks, Cynthia. I'm still reading. But it's law or parties here, right? Both Donnie and Ronnie were guilty, right?


Thanks, Cynthia. I'm still reading. But it's law or parties here, right? Both Donnie and Ronnie were guilty, right?

Ronnie helped dispose of the body. He walked in after Donnie had killed her. Ronnie was on work release from the local penal farm.  Donnie was in charge of him.  He was signing Ronnie out and back in each day. Donnie did it.


That's so sad. Donnie was your father? Sorry if my questions are too direct. I am just trying to get the information the fastest way I can.

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