The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has delayed Edmund Zagorski's execution after his attorneys filed an emergency motion to prevent the state from using lethal injection drugs in Thursday’s scheduled execution.
The motion was filed Wednesday afternoon. His attorneys argued that Zagorski has the legal right to choose electrocution and state:
“Secrecy, evasiveness, and a rush to execute on the part of State actors have forced Edmund Zagorski to make a terrible choice: either allow the state to subject him to an execution by lethal injection where the evidence establishes the last 10-18 minutes of his life will be spent in utter terror and agony, or request to be electrocuted which will end his life by burning his organs causing his body to be mutilated and experiencing excruciating pain for (likely) 15-30 seconds.”
The state responded , saying:
"Because Zagorski has failed to carry his burden of demonstrating that the circumstances demand such extraordinary relief, his request should be denied."
His attorneys again responded , saying:
"Zagorski has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits and will suffer irreparable harm without the injunction he seeks. No one will suffer any harm by the imposing the injunction. Finally, the public interest is not harmed by the injunction which will result in Mr. Zagorki’s execution. Wherefore, the motion should be granted."
However, the discussion was halted when the circuit judge ruled the case "presents exceptional circumstances warranting a stay."
The Tennessee Attorney's General filed a response that the stay of execution should be denied.
Zagorski has chosen the electric chair instead of the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol. However, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told NewsChannel 5 Tennessee Department of Correction said that they will not use the electric chair, saying it’s too late to make the change.
He was one of 33 inmates who filed a lawsuit, claiming the drug cocktail used in lethal injections causes the condemned to suffer. However, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the state’s lethal injection protocol.
Zagorski was moved to death watch on Tuesday. He has decided to forgo his last meal.