Tenn. attorney general trying to stop executioner testimony

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee’s attorney general wants an emergency order to prevent the state’s executioner from testifying in a trial over the constitutionality of lethal injection.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed a motion Wednesday with the Tennessee Court of Appeals. He is asking the higher court to jump in and decide the testimony issue before the trial in Davidson County Chancery Court is over. If granted, it could bring the trial to a halt.

The motion came in response to an order issued Tuesday at the request of attorneys representing 33 death row inmates. Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ordered the executioner to testify by telephone with his or her voice disguised.

Slatery argues the testimony is irrelevant because the lawsuit challenges the written lethal injection protocols, not how the protocols are carried out.