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Tennessee high court refuses to block looming execution

August 7, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s Supreme Court has refused to stay Thursday’s scheduled execution of a convicted child killer while the state’s lethal injection protocol continues to be challenged on appeal.

The court’s majority wrote Monday that state Supreme Court rules require proving that the lawsuit challenging the new three-drug cocktail is likely to succeed on appeal, but Billy Ray Irick’s attorney has failed to do so. Irick is scheduled to die Thursday.

Irick would be the first inmate Tennessee has executed since 2009. He was convicted of the 1985 rape and killing of a 7-year-old Knoxville girl.

Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday he won’t intervene. Federal public defender Kelley Henry had requested Haslam’s temporary stay while the drugs are studied further.

Henry said she will request a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court.

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