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Texas Executes Its Oldest Death Row Prisoner; Tennessee Halts Execution over Lethal Injection Drugs

HeadlineApr 22, 2022

Prison officials in Huntsville, Texas, have executed the state’s oldest death row prisoner. On Thursday night, 78-year-old Carl Wayne Buntion was strapped to a gurney and administered a single lethal dose of pentobarbital. Death penalty opponents have compared the drug’s effect to drowning or being burned alive.

In Tennessee, Republican Governor Bill Lee temporarily halted the execution of 72-year-old Oscar Franklin Smith Thursday evening, just hours before Smith was set to die. Governor Lee cited an unspecified “oversight” in the preparation of a three-drug lethal injection cocktail meant to sedate and paralyze Smith while stopping his heart from beating.

Meanwhile, South Carolina’s Supreme Court has ordered a pause to next week’s planned execution of Richard Bernard Moore. The court is weighing the constitutionality of South Carolina’s new execution law, which requires condemned prisoners to choose between the electric chair and a firing squad. 

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