Tennessee Execution: Gov. Grants Zagorski Temporary Reprieve

Supreme Court Denies Stay, Lethal Injection Case

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Convicted killer, Edmund Zagorski's, life was spared for at least ten more days after Governor Bill Haslam granted him temporary reprieve of execution.

He was convicted in the 1983 murders of two men in which he robbed them, then shot them and slit their throats.

The widow of one of his victims, Marsha Dotson, released a statement in response to the Governor's temporary reprieve.

“I think it’s messed up. If the Governor had given Edmund life without parole I wouldn’t have been through this. I’ve waited 35 years for this. I’ve had to relive 1983 over again for no damn reason. I’ve had a stroke before and this is so stressful I’m liable to have another one. Shame he always seems to get his way and the victims family has to suffer heartaches all over again for no reason except for Zagorski to get his way. I’m so tired of all the BS. The devil inside Zagorski is fighting God hard over this. I’m praying it will be over soon for all involved.”

He was set to be executed Thursday, Oct. 11. The day before, Zagorski's attorneys filed an appeal, saying he did not get fair representation back in 1983.  In response, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an issue of stay of execution

It was made the same day that a U.S. district court judge barred the use of the state’s three-drug lethal injection protocol in the execution of Zagorski.

The U.S. Supreme court denied the stay of execution based on appeal on unfair representation and denied to hear his case in regards to the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection protocol. 

These were just the latest arguments made by Zagorski's attorney this week. Earlier in the week, they filed paperwork to have him die by electric chair.

His request was denied; however on Thursday, his attorney said the district court judge issued an order barring the use of lethal injection if his execution is ordered to continue Thursday night. This order can also be appealed. 

“Tennessee’s death penalty statute makes it clear that Mr. Zagorski has the right to choose execution by electrocution. While being burned alive and mutilated via electricity is not a good death, Mr. Zagorski knows that death by electric chair will be much quicker than lethal injection using midazolam, a paralytic, and potassium chloride," his attorney, Kelley Henry, said in a statement. 

The Tennessee Supreme Court also threw out his appeal claiming the three-drug execution cocktail is unconstitutional. He was one of 33 inmates who filed a lawsuit, claiming the drug cocktail used in lethal injections causes the condemned to suffer. 

Zagorski was put on death watch and has decided to forgo his last meal. He was removed from death watch within 24 hours of the temporary reprieve being issued.

Previous Stories:
Governor Haslam Won't Intervene In Zagorski Case
Inside Edmund Zagorski's Crimes That Put Him On Death Row 

 

 

 

 

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an issue of stay of execution. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to vacate that stay of execution for Edmund Zagorski and did not take up the discussion of lethal injection protocol being unconstitutional.

Gov. Haslam's 10-day reprieve remains in effect.

There’s no set timeline on when the execution will happen until the court determines if Zagorski had proper representation. 

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