Death row inmate Edmund Zagorski died at 7:26 p.m. CDT Thursday after Tennessee prison officials electrocuted him with the electric chair. He was 63. He is the 134th person put to death by Tennessee since 1916 and the second person this year. He is the first person to die by electric chair since Daryl Horton’s execution in 2007.
Zagorski was convicted in the April 1983 murders of two people. Prosecutors argued Zagorski lured them into the woods in Robertson County with the promise to sell them marijuana, and then he shot them, slit their throats and stole their money. Two minutes before it was set to begin at 7 p.m., the U.S. Supreme Court denied Zagorski’s appeal on the grounds of the unconstitutionality of choosing between the electric chair and lethal injection.
Eight people believed to be family members of the victims entered the prison to witness the execution. They waited in front of a covered large window that looked into the execution chamber where on the other side of the glass Zagorski sat pinned in the electric chair, held down by buckles and straps with electrodes fastened to his feet. The blinds opened for the rest of the witnesses to see Zagorski dressed in his cotton clothes, smiling and grimacing to the group. Zagorski pronounced his last words: “Let’s rock.” He sat smiling in the wired chair as prison staff placed a wet sponge, which had been soaked in salt, and a metal helmet on his freshly shaven head.