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Gov. Bill Lee won’t intervene in Sutton execution

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Posted at 11:50 AM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 15:40:05-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Governor Bill Lee says he will not intervene in Thursday’s scheduled execution of death row inmate Nicholas Sutton.

“After careful consideration of Nicholas Sutton’s request for clemency and a thorough review of the case, I am upholding the sentence of the State of Tennessee and will not be intervening,” Lee said in a statement Wednesday.

The 58-year-old Sutton was convicted of killing four people in the 1980s, including his own grandmother. He was sentenced to death in 1986 for killing Carl Estep in prison.

However, Sutton's attorneys say he's turned his life around. They claim Sutton has saved the lives of prison guards while on death row,including one who was taken hostage during a riot at the old Tennessee State Prison in 1985.

Estep's oldest daughter said Sutton did her family a favor, saying her father was an "evil man."

The Tennessee Department of Correction said Sutton was moved to death watch early Tuesday morning in accordance with death watch protocol – a three-day period in which strict guidelines are implemented to maintain security and control.

He selected fried pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy and peach pie with vanilla ice cream for his last meal before the execution.

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Former death row prison guard says inmate's life should be spared