Ricky Bell, then the warden at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tenn., gives a tour of the prison's execution chamber on Oct. 13, 1999. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
NASHVILLE — Ten death row inmates in Tennessee are suing to prevent the state from using the electric chair as a backup execution device should it be unable to obtain drugs needed to give lethal injections.
The Tennessean reports that the lawsuit filed Friday says using the electric chair runs afoul of constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in May signed into law the bill that makes Tennessee the only state where electrocutions can be imposed on inmates sentenced to die via lethal injection.
The same group of inmates is also suing the estate over a 2013 law that makes nearly all information about lethal injection secret. They are awaiting a state appeals court decision about whether the state must release the execution team members' names.comments powered by Disqus