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Lawmaker says those behind execution drug lawsuit are 'grasping at any straw'

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 21:22:39-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A republican state lawmaker blasted a lawsuit against the state that alleges a lack of one of three drugs necessary to carry out lethal injection executions.

Rep. William Lamberth R-Portland said he has no reason to believe the state wouldn't be able to perform executions, by lethal injections or the electric chair.

"What you're referring to is a filing by, quite frankly, desperate lawyers who are representing a client that has been on death row for decades, where they're grasping at any straw they possibly can to try to stay this execution," said Lamberth. "I understand at from a legal standpoint why they would put that out there. But at this juncture, there's no evidence whatsoever that there's a factual basis to it."

The lawsuit was filed by five death row inmates in Tennessee. Their lawyers allege Tennessee Department of Correction officials may not currently have all the drugs it needs to carry out lethal injection executions.

They specify Vecuronium, which is the second drug administered during lethal injection executions. It's used to paralyze the inmate and stop them from breathing.

However, Lamberth said he has no worries about the state obtaining the drug.