State Halts Executions to Rework Lethal Injection Procedures

Nashville (AP) -- The state postponed four pending executions so that officials can rework the procedures for lethal injection on Thursday.

Governor Bredesen said the protocols in place now are not specific enough.

He reiterated his support for the death penalty, but said he was issuing temporary reprieves for four condemned killers because of his concerns over the written protocols.

Getting 90-day reprieves are Edward J. Harbison and Daryl Holton, who were to be executed later this month, and Michael J. Boyd and Pervis T. Payne, who were scheduled to be put to death in March.

Harbison, Boyd and Payne have been on Death Row since the 1980s while Holton was sentenced in 1999.

State prison officials are to do a review and report back no later than May 2nd.

The governor said he called for the review because of a case pending in federal court that challenges the state's lethal injection process.

Tennessee has executed two inmates this decade, the first since 1960.

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