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New TDOC chief oversaw Arizona staff struggling through executions

Okla. officials faulted for botched execution
Posted at 7:02 PM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 21:01:26-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After a scathing independent report, Tennessee is now trying to come up with a new rulebook on how to execute death row inmates.

The man in charge of the state agency that carries out those executions is only just entering his second week on the job in Tennessee.

Frank Strada started as the head of the state Department of Correction last week, with Governor Lee touting his experience.

Part of that experience came from Strada's role in Arizona, overseeing the person who directs death row executions there.

But like Tennessee, Arizona has had a checkered history with its executions.

That includes two executions last year, where medical technicians struggled to simply find a vein to inject the drugs into.

In another instance, the execution team had to resort to a bloody backup procedure, known as a cutdown, to get into an inmate's groin.

On top of that, a federal judge last year said Arizona's prisons violated the U.S. Constitution, operating with "deliberate indifference" in providing prisoners with adequate medical and mental healthcare.

Now, all of Tennessee looks to change how the state will execute death row inmates, with Strada at the helm.


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