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Blind inmate to be executed by electric chair, first since death penalty reinstated

By USA Today

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(USA TODAY) – On Thursday, Tennessee is set to carry out the second-ever execution of a blind prisoner in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

The state’s highest court refused to push back the execution of Lee Hall, 53, who was convicted in the 1991 burning death of his estranged girlfriend Traci Crozier in Chattanooga.

Attorneys asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to intervene ahead of his death in order to allow an ongoing legal appeal to finish in appellate courts.

Hall is scheduled to die by electric chair, the first time a blind inmate would be executed by electrocution since the reinstatement of the death penalty. His attorneys say he lost his vision and became functionally blind in prison from improperly treated glaucoma.

Hall’s attorneys said extreme juror bias led to an unconstitutional trial after a woman failed to disclose a history of abuse that may have tainted her actions and decision making.

The high court denied the request on two fronts: Both that Hall’s case had a likelihood of succeeding on the merits of the case and that he had any legal basis to bring the appeal in the first place.

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