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Ultimate choice: Tennessee inmates wrestle with how to die

Lethal injection or electrocution? Tennessee inmates receive the "unique and unenviable" decision to choose how they die.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Attorneys for Tennessee's death row inmates say their clients face a unique and unenviable choice: choosing between two questionable and painful methods of execution. 

The national Death Penalty Information Center notes that Tennessee is one of only six states that allow inmates to choose between lethal injection and the electric chair. 

RELATED: Execution is almost always certain for TN death row inmates -- with a few exceptions

Four of the six inmates executed in Tennessee since 2018 have chosen electrocution.

A fifth inmate who has chosen this method is Nicholas Sutton, who is scheduled to die on Feb. 20 for the 1985 murder of a fellow inmate.

The 58-year-old Sutton was sentenced to death in 1986 for killing Carl Estep in prison.

Sutton was already serving a life sentence for killing his grandmother, Dorothy Sutton, when he was 18 years old, and he also has been convicted of killing two men in North Carolina, John Large and Charles Almon, also when he was 18.

RELATED: Tennessee death row inmate Nicholas Sutton moved to death watch ahead of Thursday execution

He was moved to death watch shortly after midnight Tuesday. Death watch is the three-day period before an execution when strict guidelines are implemented to maintain the security and control of the offender and to maintain safe and orderly operations of the prison.

Tennessee is the only state to use the electric chair since 2013.   

RELATED: Tennessee death row inmate's unusual group of supporters seeks to stop execution