Tennessee executes Edmund Zagorski by electric chair

A convicted killer of two men 35 years ago became the first person executed in Tennessee by the electric chair in 11 years, WZTV reported.

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Edmund George Zagorski, 63, was pronounced dead Thursday at 8:26 p.m. EDT in

the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, becoming the 134th person executed by Tennessee prison officials since 1916 and the first to die in the electric chair since Daryl Horton in 2007, The Tennessean reported.

“Let’s rock,” Zagorski said in his final statement as he entered the death chamber, the newspaper reported.

Zagorski was convicted for the April 1983 murders of John Dale Dotson and Jimmy Porter in Robertson County and was sentenced to death March 27, 1984.

Eight people, believed to be family members of the victims, witnessed the execution, The Tennessean reported.\

Zagorski originally was scheduled to die by lethal injection Oct. 11, but he requested to die by electric chair. His attorneys argued that Tennessee's three-drug lethal injection was unconstitutional and inhumane, WZTV reported. The Tennessee State Supreme Court upheld that the state's lethal injection procedure was constitutional in early October, the television station reported.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted Zagorski a reprieve three hours before his original execution date, The Tennessean reported. That gave the state time to prepare the electric chair, the newspaper reported.

Zagorski's attorney, Kelley Henry, said the electric chair was "the lesser of two evils," WKRN reported last month.

Zagorski's final appeal was rejected two minutes before the execution was scheduled to begin, The Tennessean reported.

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