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Saturday, March 27, 2021

Dusting Off Old Sparky For Edmund Zagorski

     In April 1983, a jury in Tennessee found Edmund Zagorski guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. The judge sentenced the 29-year-old to death. Zagorski had murdered two men in the commission of a 1982 robbery. Thanks to teams of death house lawyers, the double murderer, 34 years later, was still on death row at the Riverbend Maximum Security Prison in Nashville, Tennessee.

     In his 2017 death house petition, Zagorski rejected death by lethal injection in favor of the electric chair. The last person in Tennessee executed this way was a killer named Daryl Holtan who was dispatched in 2007. Before Holtan it was William Tines in 1960. Nationwide, since 2000, only fourteen other condemned men had died on the hot seat. 
     On his execution day in October 2018, Zagorski and his attorney witnessing his last moments smiled at each other through the glass partition. As a prison official pulled the shroud over Zagorski's face, attorney Kelly Henry tapped her heart to show her love. 
     Just before he died in the chair, Zagorski said, "Let's rock!" 
     As a capital punishment matter, the Zagorski case makes a mockery of our system of criminal justice. This is no way to implement the death sentence. Keeping a convicted, death sentenced killer alive this long is ridiculous. Either dispatch them within a couple of years of their convictions and appeals or let them live. The way death sentences are carried out should offend both pro and anti-death penalty advocates.

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