Tennessee Lethal Injection Trial Continues With Dueling Experts

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 26, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Supreme Court said the death penalty is constitutional, so there must be a constitutional way to carry it out. But attorneys for 33 death row inmates said lethal injection isn't one of them.

In a trial that began July 7, they have been trying to prove lethal injection has carried an unacceptably high risk of extreme suffering and can cause a lingering death.

The second claim was a novel one. It was based on the theory that an overdose of sedatives can put inmates into a death-like coma without truly killing them for hours.

Attorneys for the state disagreed. Davidson County Acting Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Feng Li has been an expert witness in the case. He said lethal injection should leave a prisoner unconscious within seconds and dead within minutes. 

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