Tennessee executed an inmate on death row by electric chair on Thursday. David Miller, 61, was set to die at 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. EST) at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. He was pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m. local time.

Miller was convicted for the 1981 murder of Lee Standifer, 23, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He had stabbed the victim several times and beat her to death with a fireplace poker.

Here are some facts to know about his days leading up to the execution.

Last words

According to ABC-affiliated Channel 9, his last words before being executed were “Beats being on death row." He had been on death row for 36 years.

Last meal

On Wednesday, Miller got to choose his last meal that was served to him before his execution Thursday. According to Tennessee Department of Correction, he chose fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and coffee.

Death watch

Three days before he was scheduled to be executed, Miller was moved to a prison cell adjacent to the electrocution chamber and was strictly monitored by a team of correctional officers around the clock.

“Death watch is the three-day period before an execution when strict guidelines are implemented to maintain the security and control of the offender and to maintain safe and orderly operations of the prison," the Tennessee Department of Corrections told Fox17 in a statement.

Electrocution vs. lethal injection

After a number of legal battles, Miller successfully opted for dying by electric chair rather than being injected with a lethal dose of chemicals, which is Tennessee's preferred execution method. His attorney, Stephen Kissinger, argued that the midazolam-based fatal injection caused a prolonged and painful death, making electrocution a better alternative.

Miller was the second inmate in Tennessee to have opted for the electric chair in two months. Edmund Zagorski was executed by electrocution in the state Nov. 1.

In the days leading up to the execution, Miller requested the Supreme Court to halt his execution via electrocution as it was unconstitutional. However, the sixth circuit court ruled he had no grounds to challenge the execution because he himself had chosen the electrocution method. Miller's lawyer countered, unsuccessfully, that the inmate was coerced to make the choice as the alternative was worse, local news outlet News Channel 5 reported.


Kissinger filed a clemency request on behalf of his client with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s office about a week before the execution.

"Miller’s severe mental illness and mental state at the time of the crime place him far outside that group of offenders who are the worst and for whom the death penalty is reserved,” the request stated. It also added that Miller “accepts responsibility for the death of his friend."

However, on Thursday, Haslam declined the request for clemency for Miller. “After careful consideration of David Earl Miller’s clemency request, I am declining to intervene in this case,” he said, NBC-affiliated 10 News reported. Haslam had rejected two similar requests this year, saying he did not feel it was his role to interfere in cases that had been vetted by state and federal courts.