Tennessee executes death row inmate David Miller by electric chair

David Miller (TDOC)

The state of Tennessee executed a death row inmate by electrocution Thursday night.

David Miller, 61, was set to die at 7 p.m. at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, but was pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m.

Miller spent 36 years on death row. According to media witnesses, he had to state his last words twice. Miller's flat and emotionless last words were reported as, "Beats being on death row."

Media witnesses to the execution said Miller was wearing a cream-colored jumpsuit with the pants rolled up with his head shaved and his feet bare when the blinds to the execution chamber were opened.

The warden asked Miller for his last words before a large sponge was placed on his head and a leather sort of helmet was strapped over it. Officers then connected an electrical cable to the chair. A faint electric hum could be heard by witnesses.

At around 7:15 p.m., the first jolt of current flowed through Miller's body. Witnesses reported that the death row inmate's muscles clenched up and his body stiffened then raised from the electric chair, all while his pinky fingers were curled on the arm rest.

His body looked pale as the second jolt of electricity was delivered. The blinds to the execution chamber were lowered and the microphone near Miller was shut off. Time of death was announced at 7:25 p.m.

The death row inmate was convicted of the 1981 killing of Lee Standifer in Knoxville. According to the Tennessee Department of Correction, there were no victim witnesses that attended the execution.

A statement from a victim in Ohio was sent to the Department of Correction: "After a long line of victims he has left, it is time to be done. It was time for him to pay for what he has done to Lee."

Miller received his final meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and coffee at 4 p.m. Thursday, according to the Tennessee Department of Correction.

The death row inmate opted for the electric chair following a number of legal battles. His attorneys argued that Tennessee’s lethal injection method causes a torturous death.

Miller’s death is the second Tennessee execution in recent months to use the electric chair. Edmund Zagorski was executed by electrocution on Nov. 1.

Prior to Zagorski’s death, the state executed Billy Ray Irick on August 9 using the three-drug lethal injection protocol. He was convicted in the 1986 rape and murder of a young Knoxville girl he was babysitting.

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