After living 34 years on Tennessee’s death row, Edmund Zagorski's death sentence was imposed when he was executed by the electric chair, on November 1, at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee, according to the Nashville Scene. Zagorski, 63, was sentenced to die for killing John Dale Dotson and Jimmy Porter.

Inmate stole victims’ money after shooting them

Zagorski lured the men to the woods in Hickman County, “under the pretense of a marijuana deal,” the Washington Post reported.

Not only did he shoot Dotson and Porter, but he also “slit their throats.” He did not even hold back from stealing their money, according to prosecutors and the Nashville Scene.

Executed man chose method of death

No pharmaceutical manufacturer jumped in the fray with objections to the use of Midazolam or Fentanyl. Zagorski's capital punishment was delivered by the electric chair. The means of execution was selected by the condemned inmate.

He was given a choice between the chair and lethal injection.

He rejected lethal injection, which would have entailed a three-drug death cocktail. Zagorski’s lawyer, Kelley Henry, described the decision-making process itself as horrific. Henry said that the double-murderer was “forced” (while some say compelled) to decide between “chemically burning from the inside while paralyzed or being literally burned to death in less than a minute.”

State governor, nation’s high court rejected mercy

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam also had to make choice.

His was to not grant mercy to Zagorski. He was not alone in his decision. The US Supreme Court also extended no mercy to the inmate, even though his legal team appealed, with the argument that making him choose the method of execution is unconstitutional. The nation’s highest court rejected granting a stay of execution.

Justice Sotomayor penned dissenting opinion

Justice Sonia Sotomayor offered the dissenting opinion.

She noted that the killer selected the means of execution with the belief that lethal injection would be far worse than the electric chair. His choice was not based on thinking that the chair was “humane,” NPR reported. “Capital prisoners are not entitled to pleasant deaths under the Eighth Amendment,” according to Justice Sotomayor, “but they are entitled to humane deaths,” the Post reported.

Final meal was chock full of pork

Zagorski’s last hours alive entailed his final meal, which he ate at 4:10 PM, Fox News reported.

Prior to carrying out capital punishment in Tennessee, each condemned inmate is budgeted $20 for a meal of their choice. He selected fine dining: pickled pig knuckles and pig tails. There was no mention, in reports by several news agencies, whether Zagorski had a beverage to accompany his last meal, or if he even asked for dessert, but he was definitely “sponged down with saltwater to better conduct electricity,” according to the Post.

Killer helpful at the end of his life

His attorney said, that as the prison guards strapped her client into the electric chair, he offered helpful advice, letting them know that they needed to tighten one of the sponges.

The sponges act as conductors for electricity during the execution, Nashville Scene explained. In sum, two cycles of 1,500 volts were delivered through the inmate’s body. At 7:26 PM, Zagorski was pronounced dead.

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