Electric Chair Builder Worried Tennessee Execution Will Fail


Deborah Denno was quoted in a Ledger-Enquirer article about the electric chair as a form of capital punishment.

Denno, a law professor at Fordham who has studied execution methods for more than 25 years, said Leuchter filled a void. Often “the most qualified people don’t want to be involved” in executions, she said.


Even after he was no longer welcome as a prison contractor, Denno said prison officials continued to contact Leuchter for help “because they literally had no one else to go to.”

Denno said electric chairs have “a history of botches that has only gotten worse.”


In two Florida executions in the 1990s, smoke and flames shot from the condemned inmates’ heads. In 1999, blood spilled from under an inmate’s mask.


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