“Questions surrounding the preparation for lethal injection testing … have resulted in a temporary reprieve from the governor,” Lee’s office said Monday. in a press release. When Lee issued the order, he tweeted only that he was motivated by an “oversight in preparation for a lethal injection.”
This follows a last-minute reprieve granted by Republican Gov. Bill Lee to oscar smith72, for the 1989 murders of his wife and two children.
In response to inquiries about why the governor—who had previously withheld Smith’s mercy—would now postpone his execution, demands for a moratorium on all executions in the state grew louder.
According to Death Penalty Information Centerthe suspension comes at a time when the drugs used in lethal injections, as well as how they are procured by states, are increasingly shielded from public scrutiny.
“An investigation by a respected third party will ensure that any operational failures at TDOC are carefully addressed,” the governor said in the statement. “We will suspend scheduled executions until the end of 2022 to allow for the review and corrective action to be put in place.
“Governor Lee’s decision to suspend executions pending an independent review of Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol shows great leadership,” Kelley Henry, head of the Capital Habeas Unit at the Defender’s Office, said Monday. federal public of Nashville, in a press release.
The presence of endotoxins in the chemicals, according to Henry in an interview on Monday, would increase the likelihood of a convict enduring agony and suffering upon execution (although she added that she believes that even if the protocol works as intended, it would still cause “unconstitutional” pain and suffering for the inmate).