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Trial set for death row inmates seeking firing squad option

Only one inmate named in the lawsuit remains to be executed--- Terry King, who murdered a Knox Co. woman in 1983.
Firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A trial date has been set for the case seeking to allow the firing squad and other execution methods outside of lethal injection and the electric chair in Tennessee. 

U.S. District Judge William Campbell scheduled the trial for April 2022. 

Nearly two years ago, four death row inmates filed a complaint arguing that the state had several alternative execution methods which would “substantially reduce the constitutionally-unacceptable risk of inflicting unnecessary and serious pain” caused by electrocution. 

Three of those inmates, Nicholas Sutton, Stephen Michael West, and David Earl Miller, have since been executed by the electric chair, an option available in Tennessee for some inmates

Terry Lynn King remains on death row. He was convicted of killing Diana Kay Smith in 1983. Smith was kidnapped, shot in the back of the head and then dumped in a quarry in East Knox County. 

Credit: TDOC
Terry Lynn King

A firing squad was last used in the U.S. in 2010 in Utah, one of only three U.S. states to allow the use of firing squads.