New law allows Tennessee to plan record number of executions — and keep details secret

By David Edwards
Sunday, March 23, 2014 10:03 EDT
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The prisoner worries about a criminal conduct being behind in jail (Shutterstock.com)
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The state of Tennessee has asked to execute a record number of death row inmates — and a new law means that the state can plan it all in secret.

According to the Times Free Press, officials have asked the state Supreme Court for permission to execute 10 inmates, the largest request ever.

The Tennessean reported on Sunday that the state will keep almost every detail of the process secret. Citizens are not allowed to know who conducted the execution, which cocktail of lethal drugs were used to put the inmate to death or where those drugs came from.

A law passed by the Tennessee legislature last year allowed the state to shroud the process in secret.

A group of 11 death row inmates have sued the state, saying the information should be available to the public.

“Tennesseans should be concerned because these executions are ostensibly for them,” assistant public defender Kelley Henry, who represents several of the inmates, pointed out. “They are carried out in the name of the people.

“The people have a right to know that the Department of Corrections isn’t torturing citizens using public funds.”

Legislatures in Georgia, Oklahoma and Missouri have passed similar laws after manufacturers began refusing to sell traditional execution drugs to U.S. states. New drugs have been criticized have been criticized for being extremely cruel. In one case, it reportedly took an inmate 26 minutes to die.

Tennessee’s first of 10 scheduled executions begins on April 22.

Watch the video below from the Times Free Press, broadcast March 23, 2014.

[h/t: The prisoner worries about a criminal conduct being behind in jail (Shutterstock.com)]

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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