Zagorski called death by electrocution the “lesser of two evils” when compared to lethal injection. According to his attorney, Kelley Henry, Zagorski “made the request roughly two hours before the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled the state’s three-drug lethal injection protocol is constitutional.”
The way has been “paved” for his execution on Thursday, CBS wrote.
“Faced with the choice of two unconstitutional methods of execution, Mr. Zagorski has indicated that if his execution is to move forward, he believes that the electric chair is the lesser of two evils,” his attorney said in an email.
However, it is not unconstitutional to be electrocuted or lethally injected for murder, according to the Supreme court.
The injection, “10-18 minutes of drowning, suffocation, and chemical burning is unspeakable,” the attorney added.
In Tennessee, inmates who have been sentenced to death prior to January 1999 can legally choose the electric chair over a fatal chemical cocktail. However, no one has chosen the former option since 2007.
In 1983, Zagorski killed to men two men during a drug deal, but it was the way that the slayings took place which horrified jurors. Both John Dotson and Jimmy Porter were not only shot, they also suffered having their throats cut after they were robbed “in Robertson County.”
The killer received his sentence a year later.
Dotson’s widow told WTVF-TV that the brutal killing still “haunts” her daily and she hopes that when Zagorski is put to death, it will bring “closure” to her. “I have dealt with it for 35 years, and I will be glad when it’s over,” Martha Dotson stated.
She also said, “I’m just tired. You know, I’m mentally tired. I’m physically tired. I’m just ready for this to all be over so I can start some kind of healing.” She has waited well over a third of a century to see the killer of her husband put to death for his deeds.
Along with the killer’s request to be electrocuted, Henry is also putting in “a stay of Zagorski’s execution to allow the U.S. Supreme Court time to review the case.” Considering that the case has been reviewed with great frequency since 1983, the chances of a stay being granted are quite slim.
Still, Zagorski’s lawyers feel that, even if the electric chair is used, it “violates the 8th Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.”
This sounds a lot like a plethora of arguments that have been made over the decades, and the real goal some say, is to get the courts to utterly abolish the death penalty.