Zagorski Jurors Want Execution Halted

Posted at 5:56 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 20:53:04-04

Two jurors who sentenced killer Edmund Zagorski to death for his role in the brutal murder of two men in 1984, now say they don't believe the death penalty is the appropriate sentence.

Zagorski will be executed on Thursday, he has elected to use the electric chair. However, his attorney told NewsChannel 5 Tennessee Department of Corrections said that they will not use the Electric chair. They said it is too late to make the change, and would use lethal injection.

Two jurors who sentenced him though now say if life without the possibility of parole had been an option, the jury likely would have chosen that sentence instead.

"What is society going to gain out of this right now? At one time I would've said I 100 percent agree with the death penalty, I don't know that I can say that anymore," says Billy Clay who was the foreman of the jury that convicted Zagorski.

Last week Governor Haslam announced he would not be granting Zagorski clemency.

"I just don’t see that killing this man 34 years later is going to do any benefit, to anyone," says Michael Poole who was also on the jury.

It was a double murder back in 1983 that put Edmund Zagorski, 28 years old at the time, on death row.

A jury convicted Zagorski of killing John Dotson and Jimmy Porter, one of whom Zagorski met at the Lakeland Trout Farm in Hickman County.

Zagorski set up a bogus drug deal in Robertson County, but then shot Dotson and Porter, then slit their throats, letting them bleed to death.

He then fled to Ohio where he got into a shootout with police.  One officer, who Zagorski shot five times, miraculously survived.

Zagorski was brought back to Tennessee with a trove of evidence: high powered weapons, body armor and thousands of dollars in cash.

In refusing to grant clemency this week, the Governor said even though Zagorski has shown good behavior while in prison, it doesn't undo the severity of his crimes.

"I feel that if we had that option to give him life in prison with no possibility of parole, that would have satisfied us," Poole adds.