WTVF - MANDATORY CREDIT WTVF, NO ACCESS NASHVILLE MARKET, NO USE U.S. BROADCAST NETWORKS
Nashville, Tennessee - 6 December 2018
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Travis Loller, The Associated Press:
"The warden asked for any last words and he said something that was unintelligible and then he asked him to repeat it and we believe he said 'Beats being on death row.'"
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION VIA AP - MANDATORY CREDIT TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION
Date/Location not available
2. STILL - David Earl Miller
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Nashville, Tennessee - 6 December 2018
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Marc Sallinger, WBIR-TV
"It was the second jolt of electricity where actually I wrote down the seconds. So at 7:16:53 it was when the second jolt of electricity went through him. His body stiffened up and went off the chair and remained there until 7:17:12, which is about 20 seconds by my unofficial count that his body was kind of stiff there. His fingers remained beneath his palms, small droplets of water were kind of falling from his legs and pooling around the bottom of him."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen Kissinger, Assistant Federal Community Defender:
"You'll know that he cared deeply for (victim) Lee Standifer, and she would be alive today if it weren't for a sadistic stepfather and a mother who violated every trust that a son should have. I know I came up here promising to tell you what we did here today but I think maybe what I should be doing is ask you all that question. What is it we did here today? Thank you." (Walks away from microphone)
A Tennessee inmate became the second person to die in the state's electric chair in just over a month Thursday, nearly two decades after Tennessee adopted lethal injection as its preferred method of execution.
David Earl Miller, 61, was pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m. at a Nashville maximum-security prison.
Miller was convicted of killing 23-year-old Lee Standifer in 1981 in Knoxville and had been on death row for 36 years, the longest of any inmate in Tennessee.
At 7:12 p.m. and after Miller had been strapped into the chair, Tennessee Department of Correction officials raised a blind that had covered the windows to a witness room. Miller looked straight ahead, his eyes seemingly unfocused and his face expressionless.
Warden Tony Mays asked Miller if he had any last words. He spoke but his words were unintelligible. Mays asked him to repeat himself, and his words were still difficult to understand, but his attorney, Stephen Kissinger, said he understood them to be, "Beats being on death row."
Officers then placed a large damp sponge on Miller's shaved head to help conduct the current before strapping a cap to his head. Water ran down Miller's face and was toweled off by an officer. Miller looked down and did not look back up before officers placed a shroud over his face.
After someone connected an electrical cable to the chair, Miller's body stiffened as the first jolt of current hit him. His body then relaxed before a second jolt came less than a minute later. Again, Miller's body stiffened and then relaxed. The blinds were pulled down and an announcement of the time of death came over an intercom.
No witnesses from either Miller's family or Standifer's were present for the execution, but Department of Correction spokeswoman Neysa Taylor read a brief statement from a woman from Ohio who did not want her name given.
Taylor read, "After a long line of victims he has left, it is time to be done. It is time for him to pay for what he has done to Lee."
Miller had been on a date with Standifer, who had mental disabilities, and the two were seen together around town the evening of May 20, 1981. The young woman's body was found beaten and stabbed the next day in the yard of the home where Miller had been living.
Earlier on Thursday, Gov. Bill Haslam refused Miller's request to commute his sentence to life in prison. Miller's petition for clemency said Miller had been physically abused as a child by his stepfather and had been physically and sexually abused by his mother. The petition argued that evidence of the trauma and mental illness it caused should have been presented to a jury.
Assistant Federal Community Defender Stephen Kissinger spoke briefly after the execution.
"(Miller) cared deeply for Lee Standifer, and she would be alive today if it weren't for a sadistic stepfather and a mother who violated every trust that a son should have," Kissinger said.
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