Murderer Chooses To Be Executed In Homemade Electric Chair

Edmund Zagorski is on death row for two murders and he's opted to die via a homemade electric chair.

What you need to know
  • Zagorski was convicted of shooting two men and slitting their throats in 1984
  • In the US, only 14 people have been executed by electric chair since 2000
  • Six US states allow condemned inmates who committed crimes before 1999 to choose their form of execution

He will be only the second person to be executed by electric chair in the US state of Tennessee since 1960.

The chair was hand built by a self taught 'execution expert' Fred Leuchter and was just one of the many execution devices he worked on between 1979 and 1990.

Leuchter no longer works for the prison system after it was revealed he didn't have an engineering degree, despite calling himself an engineer and he fears the device will fail as he hasn't been allowed to service the chair for years.

Image: AP Media

The last time this particular chair was used, was in the 2007 execution of convicted child killer Daryl Holton. A recent state inspection of the device on October 10 reported that the chair met the required criteria.

Zagorski took the lives of two men during a botched drug deal in 1984 and was just hours away from a planned death by lethal injection three weeks ago, when he exercised his right to request to die by electric chair instead.

His execution was rescheduled for November 2.

American execution 'technician' Fred A. Leuchter.  Image: Getty

The US Supreme Court came close to ruling death by electric chair as a violation of the 8th Amendment ban of cruel and unusual punishment, after several failed executions in Florida during the 1990s.

During two executions in the state, smoke and flames shot from the heads of condemned inmates and in another case, blood spilled from the mask that is used to cover the inmates head during the procedure.

Florida has since made lethal injections its primary form of execution.

The convicted murder has requested for his last meal to be pickled pigs knuckles. Image: Herb's