House Bill 289, sponsored by State Rep. Lowell Russell, R-Vonore, will require a sentence of death to be carried out within 30 business days of the conclusion of any appeals or post- conviction relief, if the jury unanimously determines that certain circumstances are met.
If the jury finds incontestable evidence that the defendant killed three or more victims with the use of a deadly weapon, used a deadly weapon on the grounds of a public school, or committed the offense of killing an on duty first responder, this bill would allow a jury to expedite the defendant’s sentence of death. If the Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) is unable to carry out a sentence of death by lethal injection, then the electric chair shall be used.
The bill passed in the House on March 13, 2022. Senator Janice Bowling is sponsoring the bill in the Senate and working it through the committee system.
If passed in the senate, and signed by the governor, this bill would go into law on July 1, 2023.
“These murders should be fast tracked to their execution for killing a first responder, killing anyone on school grounds or committing a mass killing”, stated Russell.