House Republican Leader JASON MUMPOWER 103 War Memorial Building Nashville, TN 37243

Republican Caucus Chairman GLEN CASADA 112 War Memorial Building Nashville, TN 37243

Tennessee General Assembly
October 4, 2007 Dear Governor Bredesen: We are writing you to ask that you request Tennessee’s Attorney General to file a “friend of the court” or “amicus curiae brief” supporting the state of Kentucky in the Baze v. Rees case which is currently before the United States Supreme Court. We also ask that you vigorously pursue an appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger’s decision that the current method of lethal injection used in Tennessee is “cruel and unusual” and is unconstitutional. The legislature has worked diligently to address barriers to carrying out the death sentence and for restoration of Tennessee’s death penalty law by changing the method of execution from electrocution to lethal injection during the 1998 session. Before that time, the state had not executed a prisoner convicted of capital crimes in 38 years. The concern at that time was that the courts would rule electrocution as a “cruel and unusual” method and further delay implementation of our capital punishment law. The Kentucky case pending in our nation’s highest court and the ruling of Judge Trauger have called into question the use of the three drug cocktail as a method of execution. We ask you to comply with Tennessee law and take action immediately to carry out all pending executions. According to the Tennessee Code Annotated (40-23-114; attached), you are authorized to carry out an execution by any constitutional method. Those on death row have committed “the worst of the worst” crimes in Tennessee. Return to a system that endlessly denies justice to victims of heinous crimes is “cruel and unusual” to victims, their families, and friends who suffer much pain and psychological trauma. While we support due process and the rule of law in Tennessee, we must also defend those who are defenseless, the victims whose lives have been ended by violent and heinous acts. We owe it to these victims to utilize Tennessee’s full resources to join efforts to uphold our capital punishment law. Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely,

Representative Jason Mumpower House Republican Leader

Representative Glen Casada House Republican Caucus Chairman

Tenn. Code Ann. 40-23-114 (2007) 40-23-114. Death by lethal injection - Election of electrocution. (a) For any person who commits an offense for which the person is sentenced to the punishment of death, the method for carrying out this sentence shall be by lethal injection. (b) Any person who commits an offense prior to January 1, 1999, for which the person is sentenced to the punishment of death may elect to be executed by electrocution by signing a written waiver waiving the right to be executed by lethal injection. (c) The department of correction is authorized to promulgate necessary rules and regulations to facilitate the implementation of this section. (d) If lethal injection or electrocution is held to be unconstitutional by the Tennessee supreme court under the Constitution of Tennessee, or held to be unconstitutional by the United States supreme court under the United States Constitution, or if the United States supreme court declines to review any judgment holding lethal injection or electrocution to be unconstitutional under the United States Constitution made by the Tennessee supreme court or the United States court of appeals that has jurisdiction over Tennessee, or if the Tennessee supreme court declines to review any judgment by the Tennessee court of criminal appeals holding lethal injection or electrocution to be unconstitutional under the United States or Tennessee constitutions, all persons sentenced to death for a capital crime shall be executed by any constitutional method of execution. No sentence of death shall be reduced as a result of a determination that a method of execution is declared unconstitutional under the Constitution of Tennessee or the Constitution of the United States. In any case in which an execution method is declared unconstitutional, the death sentence shall remain in force until the sentence can be lawfully executed by any valid method of execution.