NASHVILLE, Tenn.— 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, whose execution had been delayed on five prior occasions, became Tennessee's third lethal injection since 2000.
The Tennessee Supreme Court rejected a final defense request for more time to challenge the way the state carries 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 6th U.S. 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 was a jumble of conflicting instructions that mixed lethal injection instructions with those for the old electric chair.
The state on April 30 released its revised execution guidelines, which still include the injection of a lethal cocktail that opponents have called needlessly cruel.
Besides Tennessee, executions have been halted in 10 other states so procedures could be reevaluated: Florida, California, Missouri, New Jersey, Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and South Dakota and Ohio.
Workman, 53, was robbing a Wendy's restaurant and got into a gun battle with police. He wounded one officer and shot at a second, but he contends another officer's bullet accidentally killed police Lt. Ronald Oliver.