10 death row inmates challenge electrocution law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Nashville judge has ruled that the 10 death row inmates already challenging the state’s lethal injection protocol may amend their lawsuit to include objections to the use of the electric chair.

The General Assembly passed a law earlier this year allowing prisoners to be electrocuted if the Department of Correction were unable to obtain the drug used for lethal injection.

Prior to that, prisoners could not be forced to die by the electric chair although they were allowed to choose electrocution under some circumstances.

The death row inmates claim the new law violates both the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions. Among other things, they claim it violates evolving standards of decency.

Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled on Wednesday that the inmates could amend their lawsuit.