Death row prisoner picks electric chair over lethal injection
A convicted killer in Tennessee has become the fifth prisoner in almost a year-and-a-half to choose electrocution over a lethal injection for his execution.
Another Nick Sutton, 58, was pronounced dead at 7.26pm local time (1.26am GMT) at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee.
He decided to be killed by the state’s electric chair, despite the state’s preferred option of the lethal injection.
Sutton was given the chance to offer his last words, and he directed them to the witness room.
He said: “I would like to thank my wife for being such a good witness to the Lord, and my family and many friends who loved and supported me and tried so very hard to save my life.
“I’m just grateful to be a servant of God, and I’m looking forward to being in his presence.”
He also said that Jesus Christ had “fixed him”, while speaking of his faith.
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Sutton was sentenced to death in 1986 after killing fellow inmate Carl Estep over an argument about a drug deal in a prison in East Tennessee – where he was previously serving a sentence for murdering his grandmother and two others when he was 18.
Relatives of Sutton’s final victim were invited to watch the execution – but none of them turned up.
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The sister of John Large, one of his earlier victims, was present and read a statement following the execution.
Amy Large Cook said: “John was denied the opportunity to live a full life with a family of his own.
“My children were denied meeting a wonderful man who would have spoiled them rotten and loved them with all his heart.
“He suffered a terrible and horrific death, and for that I will never forgive Mr Sutton.”
Several people, including prison staff and victims’ family members had pleaded with Governor Bill Lee to commute Sutton’s sentence, saying that he had been rehabilitated over the course of the last 40 years.
Two prison officers who supported him credited Sutton with saving their lives, after he had apparently confronted a group of armed inmates during a riot and helped them to safety.
Sutton’s last meal was fried pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, and peach pie with vanilla ice cream for his dessert.
It was served to him at 3.57pm (9.57pm), around three-and-a-half hours before he was executed.