On Nov. 2, Tennessee double-murderer Edmund Zagorski was executed by means of the electric chair, which he chose over lethal injection.
The Washington Post turned to Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, for context on why a convict would select an older method.
The prisoner’s decision to revert to an older method of punishment, Sarat said, “signals what we know to be happening — the breakdown of this idea that lethal injection would be any kind of magic bullet."
“Lethal injection was supposed to be the fulfillment of a century-long quest for a method of execution that could be safe, reliable, and humane,” Sarat said. Sarat makes the case in his book, Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty, more than seven percent of lethal injections have been botched.