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Tennessee Senate Authorizes Electric Chair For Executions

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Legislation would enable state officials to use the electric chair on death row inmates if lethal injection drugs cannot be obtained. (Getty Images)

Legislation would enable state officials to use the electric chair on death row inmates if lethal injection drugs cannot be obtained. (Getty Images)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Senate has voted to allow the state to electrocute death row inmates if lethal injection drugs cannot be obtained.

The measure sponsored by Sen. Ken Yager passed on a 23-3 vote on Wednesday. The Harriman Republican says current law allows the state to use its alternate execution method only when lethal injection drugs are not legally available. But Yager says there was no provision for what do if there was a shortage of those drugs.

Tennessee this year had 10 prisoners with scheduled executions, but has not put an inmate to death since 2009.

The state’s lethal injection protocol uses a sedative commonly used to euthanize animals, but states are exhausting supplies. The state’s last electrocution was in 2007.

The companion bill is awaiting a House floor vote.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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