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Tennessee uses electric chair to execute double murderer

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Tennessee used the electric chair Thursday to execute a man who killed two people during a bogus drug deal 35 years ago.

Edmund Zagorski, 63, died at 7:26 p.m. at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. He was the first person to face the electric chair since 2007.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal earlier Thursday Zagorski's attorneys, who objected to Tennessee's method of execution..

The request for a stay was based on the defense's contention that the electric chair violates the Constitution, even though Zagorski himself chose it as his method of death. His attorney argues that's irrelevant because both choices, the other being lethal injection, amount to torture.

Another question hanging over the execution was whether Zagorski attorney Kelley Henry would have access to a telephone before and during the execution -- to contact or receive critical calls about the appeals. A federal judge approved the phone access.

Zagorski was sentenced to die in 1984 for killing two men after luring them into the woods with a promise to sell them 100 pounds of marijuana in 1983.

His attorneys have also argued that his original defense was inadequate.
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