A Tennessee inmate in the US has become the second person to be executed in the electric chair in a month after arguing that lethal injections are not humane.
David Earl Miller was pronounced dead at at 7:25 pm local time on Thursday at a Nashville maximum-security prison, corrections officials said.
The 61-year-old has been on death row for 36 years – the longest time a prisoner has waited for execution in the state.
Miller was convicted of first-degree murder for the May 1981 killing of Lee Standifer.
The 23-year-old woman, who was mentally disabled, was repeatedly beaten, stabbed and dragged into the woods after going on a date with Miller.
Moments before the execution, Miller was asked if he wanted to say anything, but his reply was not understandable. He was asked again and his attorney clarified that he was saying Beats being on death row.
Wearing a cream-coloured jumpsuit, Miller was dripping with water from the sponges that were applied to his head.
Before the shroud was placed over Miller’s head, he faced the media witnesses and looked down.
Two jolts of electricity were administered, causing his muscles to clench. Blinds were lowered and he was pronounced dead minutes later.
Convicted murderer Edmund Zagorski, who was executed on 1 November, had also chosen the electric chair over lethal injection, despite proponents saying this method is painless and humane.
Both inmates had argued in court that Tennessee’s current method, involving the drug midazolam, involves a prolonged and torturous death.
Miller and Zagorski pointed to the state’s execution of Billy Ray Irick in August, which took about 20 minutes.
During this time, Irick was coughing and huffing before he turned dark purple.
The duo’s case was thrown out – mainly because a judge said they failed to prove that a more humane alternative was available.
Zagorski’s execution was delayed for about three weeks after he requested the electric chair amid a last-minute flurry of legal manoeuvres.
A federal court judge eventually ordered the state to comply, and the 63-year-old was executed on 1 November.
States have moved away from the electric chair in recent decades – and no state uses electrocution as its main execution method anymore.
First used in 1890, execution by electric chair was developed as a humane alternative to hanging.
Various cycles of alternating current would be passed through the individual’s body which would then cause fatal damage to the internal organs. It involves two powerful jolts of electric current, with the first causing immediate unconsciousness.
In Tennessee, inmates whose crimes were committed before 1999 can choose electrocution over lethal injection.