Tennessee inmate asks court to stop Thursday electrocution

Edmund Zagorski (Tennessee Department of Corrections)

Tennessee death row inmate Edmund Zagorski is asking a federal judge to issue an emergency order putting a halt to his Thursday execution.

Zagorski on Friday filed a complaint in the Nashville court of U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger arguing that it is unconstitutional to force him to choose between electrocution and lethal injection. Trauger dismissed that claim, saying the courts had already ruled on the issue.

On Sunday, Zagorski's lawyers asked the judge to reconsider. They also argued that they need access to a phone during the execution in case anything goes wrong. Trauger ordered the state to respond by mid-day on Monday on that issue. It has been ordered that Zagorski's attorney-witness will have access to a phone during the time before and during the scheduled execution.

Zagorski was sentenced to death in 1984 for robbing and killing two men during a drug deal.

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