Tennessee Senate Authorizes Use of the Electric Chair

Apr 10, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Senate has voted to allow the state to electrocute death row inmates if lethal injection drugs can’t be obtained.

The measure sponsored by Sen. Ken Yager passed on a 23-3 vote Wednesday. The Harriman Republican says current law allows the state to use its alternate execution method only when lethal injection drugs are not legally available. But Yager says there’s no provision for what to do if there’s a shortage of those drugs.

Tennessee has 10 prisoners on death row, but has not executed a prisoner since 2009.

The state's lethal injection protocol uses a sedative commonly used to euthanize animals, but states are exhausting supplies. The state's last electrocution was in 2007.

The companion bill is awaiting a House floor vote.