Tennessee set to execute murderer by electric chair on Thursday

By Suzannah Gonzales

By Suzannah Gonzales

(Reuters) - Tennessee plans to execute by electric chair on Thursday a 61-year-old man who has spent more than 36 years on the state's death row.

David Miller was convicted in Knox County of first-degree murder for the 1981 killing of Lee Standifer, a 23-year-old woman. Miller has been on death row since March 1982.

His electrocution would come more than one month after the state executed Edmund Zagorski, a convicted double murderer, also by electric chair. Before Zagorski, the last time Tennessee used its electric chair was 2007. Miller's execution would be the third in Tennessee this year.

Miller is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday (0100 GMT Friday). His attorney has filed for a stay to the execution with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Miller believes death by electrocution would be less painful than by the state's lethal injection mix, court documents said.

The Supreme Court in October denied a challenge by Tennessee death row inmates to the state's mix of lethal drugs, which have led to some flawed executions in recent years.

Lethal injection is the preferred method of putting people to death in all U.S. states that have the death penalty, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

On Nov. 2, the day after Zagorski's execution, Miller and three other Tennessee death row inmates filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court in Nashville that argued the state's lethal injection and electrocution protocols violate the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit said a firing squad a less-painful alternative.

(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)