4th Tennessee death row inmate selects electric chair
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee death row inmate on Thursday selected electrocution for his upcoming execution, a move that would make him the fourth person in the state to choose that method over lethal injection since last year.
A spokeswoman with the Department of Correction confirmed that Lee Hall, formerly known as Leroy Hall Jr., requested the electric chair for his scheduled Dec. 5 execution.
In Tennessee, the state’s primary execution method is lethal injection but inmates can choose electrocution if they were convicted of crimes before January 1999.
Nationally, electrocution is a rarely-used option — partially due to it being legal in only six states. However, it’s a method that has been requested by three out of the five past death row inmates since Tennessee started resuming executions in August 2018.
Outside of Tennessee, the last time the electric chair was used in an execution was in 2013 in Virginia. Courts in Georgia and Nebraska have declared the electric chair unconstitutional and the U.S. Supreme Court has never fully considered its constitutionality.
Hall was convicted of killing Traci Crozier in 1991 in Chattanooga. He set her car on fire while she was still inside. According to court documents, Crozier received burns to more than 90% of her body and died several hours later in the hospital.
Hall’s attorneys are currently fighting to block the execution date.
Tennessee performed three executions last year. It was second only to Texas, which carried out 13.
Most states have been moving away from the death penalty, but Tennessee’s attorney general has requested to schedule executions for nine death-row prisoners and restore a 10th inmate’s death sentence. Another execution has been scheduled for 2020.
Most recently, Tennessee put 56-year-old Stephen West to death by electric chair in August. West was convicted of the 1986 kidnappings and stabbing deaths of a mother and her 15-year-old daughter. He also was convicted of raping the teen.