Governor Phil Bredesen says a one-drug protocol isn’t the way to quickly reinstate Tennessee’s death penalty.
Executions in Tennessee are effectively on hold as the state waits to hear the decision of the US Supreme court on the three-drug method of lethal injection.
Senator Doug Jackson recently suggested the state could resume executions in the meantime by instead using massive doses of barbiturates, known as the one-drug protocol. Jackson says all that’s needed to make the switch is an executive order from the governor.
Bredesen says it’s not that simple.
“I think anyone who is suggesting that a one-drug cocktail is the answer to everything I think is just dead wrong. In fact, I think that the point that the plaintiffs in the case in Kentucky who argued before the Supreme Court-those who are opposed to the death penalty-they argued for the one-drug protocol I think in part because they see that in as an area in which it has never been tested and we can spend ten years in court debating the problems with the one-drug protocol.”
In addition, Bredesen doesn’t believe the federal courts would allow any execution to take place now, regardless of the method.
The Supreme Court isn’t expected to release its decision until June.