TENNESSEE PUTS REMAINING EXECUTIONS ON HOLD
April 13, 2015: The Tennessee Supreme Court has officially halted executions in the state, vacating four remaining execution dates amid legal challenges over Tennessee's death penalty protocols. Tennessee last executed a prisoner in 2009. Since then, legal challenges and problems obtaining lethal injection drugs have stalled new executions.
In 2013 and 2014, the state tried to jump-start the process with a new one-drug lethal injection method and the reinstatement of the electric chair as a backup.
Beginning in December 2013, the court set new execution dates for 11 inmates, all scheduled to be put to death between April 2014 and November 2015.
One inmate died in prison, and the execution dates for the others have been postponed as they approach because of legal challenges to the new methods.
Four men - Abu-Ali Abdur'rahman, Lee Hall, Donald Strouth, and Nicholas Sutton - remained on the calendar. With an order Friday, the high court also vacated their execution dates. The Court will set new dates after the legal questions are settled.
Next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether inmates can also challenge the electric chair, which is now Tennessee's official Plan B for executions if lethal injection drugs are not available. (Source: Nashville Scene, 13/04/2015)