Office That Defends Death Row Inmates Pulls Out Of Lawsuit

Posted at 12:48 PM, Jun 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 01:59:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A state agency that defends death row inmates has pulled out of a lawsuit after being criticized for using taxpayer dollars to pay for a legal battle that seeks information on the drugs and people involved in executions while also challenging a law that says electrocution can be used as an alternative to lethal injection.

The move comes as the Office of Post-Conviction Defender faced an August hearing before the Senate Government Operations Committee after Republican Sen. Ken Yager said the agency stepped outside its legal authority by filing the lawsuit. Yager has said state law does now allow the OPCD to file civil lawsuits.

Post-Conviction Defender Justyna Scalpone said in court documents that the office opted to withdraw due to the question over what state law allows.

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)