Author of Tennessee Death Penalty Statute Calls for Better Funding

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Attorney David Raybin, who wrote Tennessee's death penalty statute when he was a prosecutor, is urging lawmakers to adequately fund it.

At a meeting of a select committee on the death penalty yesterday, Raybin told legislators that prosecuting capital offenses is a "luxury item" and requires adequate funding for defendants.

Among recommendations Raybin made was studying where the bottlenecks exist in the judicial system, noting executions follow convictions by an average of 22 years in Tennessee.

Four convicts have been put to death since the state resumed executions under the current statute in 1977.

However, a federal judge last month declared the method of lethal injection to be unconstitutional. The state has appealed.

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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