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Convicted cop-killer is executed

Tennessee's high court denies pleas for further delay to study protocol.

May 10, 2007|From the Associated Press

NASHVILLE — A man convicted of killing a Memphis police officer in 1981 was executed early Wednesday after a court rejected defense pleas for more time to examine newly revised execution protocols.

Philip Workman, 53, whose execution had been delayed five times, became Tennessee's third person executed by lethal injection since 2000.

The Tennessee Supreme Court rejected a final defense request for more time to challenge the way the state carried out its three-chemical injection procedure.

A federal judge halted Workman's execution last week over concerns about the revisions, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted that temporary restraining order Monday.

Several motions to the 6th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to stop the execution on a variety of grounds were denied Tuesday night.

Gov. Phil Bredesen imposed a 90-day moratorium on executions in February. An Associated Press review of the state's execution procedure manual found it contained conflicting instructions that mixed lethal-injection guidelines with those for the obsolete electric chair.

The state on April 30 released its revised execution guidelines, which still include the injection of a lethal cocktail of chemicals that opponents have called needlessly cruel.

Besides Tennessee, executions have been halted in California and nine other states while procedures are reevaluated: Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Dakota and Ohio.

Workman got into a gun battle with police while he was robbing a fast-food restaurant 26 years ago. He wounded one officer and shot at a second, but he contended that another officer's bullet accidentally killed Police Lt. Ronald Oliver.

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