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Quadruple murderer put to death in Tennessee despite lawyers request for stay of execution

Nicholas Sutton’s defenders said he had been a model prisoner for more than 30 years.

Nicholas Sutton in a photo provided by the Tennessee Department of Correction.
Nicholas Sutton in a photo provided by the Tennessee Department of Correction.
Image: AP/PA Images

A QUADRUPLE MURDERER was put to death in Tennessee on yesterday despite lawyers asking the US Supreme Court for a stay of execution.

Nicholas Sutton, 58, was found guilty of stabbing a fellow inmate to death in 1985.

At that time, Sutton was serving a life sentence for killing his grandmother, who had raised him, in 1979 when he was 18 years of age.

Sutton later led police to the bodies of two other people whom he confessed to killing.

Sutton’s lawyers in January asked the state’s Republican governor, Bill Lee, to grant clemency, citing expressions of support for Sutton from prison officials.

The request stressed that Sutton had intervened several times to protect prison guards and fellow inmates from violence. In particular he was said to have saved the life of a guard during a prison riot in 1985.

execution-tennessee Protesters gather near Riverbend Maximum Security Institution to protest the execution of Nicholas Sutton. Source: Andrew Nelles/AP/Press Association Images

Sutton’s defenders said he had been a model prisoner for more than 30 years and noted that even some of the families of his victims opposed his execution. They included the daughter of the inmate he killed.

But Lee turned down the request.

Sutton’s lawyers then filed a last-ditch appeal with the US Supreme Court.

Tennessee suspended executions in 2009 because of a controversy over lethal injections but reinstated them in 2018. Sutton was the seventh person executed since then and the fifth to choose the electric chair as method of execution.

Sutton’s was the fourth execution this year in the United States.

© AFP 2020.

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