The Tennessee Supreme Court’s message Wednesday to murderers condemned to die was simple: It doesn’t have to be pain-free or quick and you don’t get a second shot at life if the first attempt doesn’t do the job, reports the Tennessean.
“The intended result of an execution is to render the inmate dead,” wrote Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins in an opinion upholding the state’s latest procedure to execute the condemned via one shot of pentobarbital.
The decision puts to rest a yearslong battle, led by the federal defenders for Union County killer Stephen Michael West and nearly three dozen more death row inmates, over the way the men should be put to death.
Wednesday’s decision will prompt a new date with death for each of the defendants involved in the challenge to lethal injection, but attorneys vowed an appeal, so no executions are on the horizon.
Kelley Henry, a member of the legal team representing the inmates and a supervisory assistant federal public defender in Nashville, said the inmates will seek an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which does not have to accept it.