TENNESSEE — The choice for Lee Hall, convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend nearly three decades ago, was death by a three-drug combination or death by 1,750 volts of electricity.
Hall, like several other inmates in Tennessee, has chosen the electric chair, state records show. His execution is set for Thursday night.
Tennessee GOP Gov. Bill Lee said Wednesday that he would not prevent Hall’s execution.
“The justice system has extensively reviewed Lee Hall’s case over the course of almost 30 years, including additional review and rulings by the Tennessee Supreme Court (Tuesday and Wednesday). The judgment and sentence stand based on these rulings, and I will not intervene in this case,” the governor said.
Tennessee’s primary method of execution is lethal injection. But in that state, an inmate who was convicted of a capital offense before 1999 can choose electrocution instead.
Hall, 53, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1991 death of Traci Crozier. He had thrown gasoline on her and set her on fire while she sat in a car, the Tennessean newspaper reported.
Hall’s choice of electrocution over lethal injection comes amid controversy over recent changes to lethal injection protocols in other states — changes brought about because drug manufacturers began to withhold certain products because they didn’t want them used in executions.
Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol, like those in many states with capital punishment, involved a three-drug combination. The first drug, sodium thiopental or pentobarbital, put the inmate to sleep; the second brought on paralysis; and the third stopped the heart.
But in recent years, as manufacturers began withholding sodium thiopental or pentobarbital, some states, including Tennessee, have turned to midazolam as an alternative. Critics say that drug can’t reliably render someone unconscious and prevent them from experiencing pain during the execution.
The electric chair is an available alternative to lethal injection in nine states, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. In 2014, Tennessee became the first state to make use of the electric chair mandatory when lethal injection drugs were unavailable.
Hall’s attorneys had asked to stop his execution, claiming that one juror in his trial had suffered traumatic domestic violence that may have influenced her decision.