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The Latest: Deadline extended for death row inmate’s choice

November 20, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on Tennessee death row inmate David Earl Miller’s legal challenges to the state’s execution methods (all times local):

5 p.m.

Tennessee says it will extend the deadline by which a death row inmate has to choose between electrocution and lethal injection.

In a court filing Tuesday, attorneys for the state said they will give David Earl Miller until the end of the day Monday to decide.

Tennessee inmates whose crimes occurred before 1999 can choose lethal injection or the electric chair.

The extension of Miller’s deadline to choose is a response to a federal lawsuit he filed challenging both methods of execution. The court on Tuesday declined to take up the case.

Miller also has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the execution.

Miller is scheduled to die Dec. 6 for the 1981 murder of Lee Standifer.

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2:45 p.m.

A Tennessee death row inmate is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution, at least until it clarifies a point of law.

In an application filed Tuesday, David Earl Miller’s attorneys argue the Supreme Court needs to give guidance to lower courts on what inmates must do to establish that a more humane method of execution is available.

Miller faces death either by electrocution or a three-drug lethal injection mix that uses the controversial drug midazolam.

Miller and others earlier argued a single dose of pentobarbital would be more humane. That case was thrown out by Tennessee courts that ruled the inmates failed to prove prison officials could obtain the alternative drug.

Miller is scheduled to die Dec. 6 for the 1981 murder of Lee Standifer.

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4:30 a.m.

Tennessee death row inmate David Earl Miller faces a Tuesday afternoon deadline to inform prison officials whether he wants to be executed by lethal injection or electrocution.

Miller is scheduled to die on Dec. 6 for the 1981 murder of 23-year-old Lee Standifer in Knoxville.

Lethal injection is Tennessee’s preferred execution method, but inmates whose crimes were committed before 1999 have the option of choosing the electric chair.

A federal judge last week ruled against Miller in a case that challenged both methods of execution. On Monday, Miller’s attorneys asked the court to reconsider.

In a separate case, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider arguments that Miller had bad lawyers at sentencing who did not retain experts to discuss his abusive childhood.

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