Tennessee death row inmate David Earl Miller has informed prison officials he wants to be executed using the electric chair.

Miller, 61, informed the warden at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution of his decision in a hand-written note that was marked "URGENT." The Tennessee attorney general's office announced the move in a court filing Monday.

Inmates sentenced to death for crimes committed before 1999 can choose between the electric chair and lethal injection, the state's primary execution method. Miller is the second inmate this year to opt for electrocution.

Death row inmate Edmund Zagorski chose to die by electrocution on Nov. 1 because he believed it would be a faster death compared to lethal injection, which can last as long as 18 minutes.

Miller and Zagorski both sued the state this year claiming that its controversial three-drug protocol for lethal injections caused searing pain that amounted to unconstitutional torture. The Tennessee Supreme Court denied that argument.

Miller, 61, was convicted in the brutal 1981 death of Lee Standifer, 23, in Knoxville.

(Copyright USAToday Network - Nashville Tennessean)


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.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, Tennessee says it will extend the deadline by which Miller 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 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 in Knox County.

(Copyright Associated Press)