06 May 2022 :
Gov. Bill Lee suspends all 2022 executions for independent review of lethal injections.
Lee announced the move in a news release early Monday morning, saying the pause will give time for a 3rd-party review and a complete assessment over the lethal injection process. “I review each death penalty case and believe it is an appropriate punishment for heinous crimes,” Lee said. “However, the death penalty is an extremely serious matter, and I expect the Tennessee Department of Correction to leave no question that procedures are correctly followed.” U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton will oversee the independent review for Tennessee, the release said. 3 of 4 executions in Tennessee have been carried out by electric chair since 2019, the release said. Death row inmates are given the choice between lethal injection and the electric chair in Tennessee. Lethal injection is the default method for execution in the state. Smith's execution was set to be the 1st since February 2020 due to COVID-19 delays. He was one of five death row inmates set to be executed in Tennessee this year. The Tennessee Supreme Court will set new dates for the 2022 executions, the release said.