On May 9, 2007, Tennessee executed Philip Workman, the first death row inmate to be executed by lethal injection following a moratorium ordered by Governor Phil Bredesen. Although the moratorium led to revisions in the state's death penalty protocols, those revisions still mandated the use of a controversial three-drug procedure which some claim is ineffective in preventing inmates from suffering a painful death. In September 2007, a federal judge ruled that Tennessee's death penalty protocol constituted "cruel and unusual punishment." However, Tennessee recommenced executions by lethal injection following the Supreme Court's decision which upheld the procedure in Baze v. Rees.
Learn more about the laws governing the death penalty and lethal injection from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary from Laura Porter on JURIST Hotline.