Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law Thursday allowing the state to electrocute death row inmates in the event prisons are unable to obtain the drugs, which have become more and more scarce following a European-led boycott of drug sales for executions.

Tennessee lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the electric chair legislation in April, with the Senate voting 23-3 and the House 68-13 in favor of the bill.

Tennessee is the first state to enact a law to reintroduce the electric chair without giving prisoners an option, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that opposes executions and tracks the issue.


11 thoughts on “Tennessee brings back the electric chair

  1. It’s too hard for me to click the “like” button on this news, but I do appreciate the information, Robert. Our willingness to resort to killing speaks to true flaws in our system of (anti)justice.


  2. We Americans should be ashamed of ourselves for this. Europeans must be so disgusted. There’s a British blogger on WordPress who calls the death penalty “prehistoric.” Perfect choice of words.


  3. Hm, one wonders whether those authorities think that el chair will be a greater deterrent from entering into crime? At times, while el chair is barbaric in heinous and unspeakable crimes of murder etc one wonders if el chair may actually be what the perpetrator deserves? Personally I am not for death penalty but I do understand those who are and pray that they turn around for wanting someone dead must be very painful in itself


    • Numerous studies have shown that capital punishment is not a deterrent to violent crime. The electric chair was previously phased out in America because it potentially violated the U.S. Constitution’s Eight Amendment prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment.” Although everyone should have great sympathy for the victims of violent crime, an “eye for an eye” mentality serves no purpose other than vengeance. Furthermore, we the people should be very careful about giving our elected leaders the legal right to commit murder.


      • I thought so, that death penalty is no deterrent for violent crimes – the Lord did say “Vengeance is mine” and we need to observe that – I agree, at times though I turn to thoughts as to what the loved ones of a murdered victim would call justice at the end of the day – agree completely that elected leaders should not have the right to commit murder and any such topic as death penalty does need to be considered by the people…I always feel terrible when I read about an execution of death penalty, the respect for human life always wins with me and at that moment the victim may get forgotten (?). Certainly, death penalty is something that cuts deep into humanity, and is difficult to take…is it vengeance or balancing the crime with punishment? I often wonder what goes through the minds of those who vote for death penalty and feel extremely blessed that the country I live in does not have it.


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