Supreme Court denies request to stay Tennessee execution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to halt plans by the state of Tennessee to put an inmate to death in the electric chair.

Attorneys for 61-year-old inmate David Earl Miller had previously filed two applications seeking to halt the scheduled 7 p.m. execution at a Nashville prison. The court, in an emailed statement, said the request for a stay was denied, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissenting.

In claims to the court, Miller’s attorneys had argued that the electric chair is unconstitutional but the state’s lethal injection method is worse. The 61-year-old previously filed a separate request with the nation’s high court in November. That one argued that the court needs to clarify what an inmate must do to prove a more humane method of execution is available.

Miller was convicted and received the death sentence for the 1981 murder of 23-year-old Lee Standifer.

Gov. Bill Haslam earlier Thursday turned down a request to commute Miller’s sentence to life in prison.