Convicted murderer Daryl Holton was put to death in the electric chair this morning in Nashville, The Tennessean reports. Holton, 45, was the first death row inmate electrocuted in Tennessee since 1960. The ex-mechanic and Gulf War veteran had been on death row since 1999 after a jury convicted him of fatally shooting his three sons – ages 12, 10, and 6 – and the 4-year-old daughter of his ex-wife.
About 40 people stood outside the prison protesting the execution. “We want it to be as humane and painless as possible,'” said Stacy Rector of the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish State Killing. Use of the electric chair, which was chosen by Holton, is troubling to some of the most ardent death penalty supporters. One victims' rights advocate didn't like the idea of using the chair to execute people. “I wish that they would only have lethal injection,” said Verna Wyatt of You Have the Power. “I don't think that the execution is about vengeance. It's about justice, and I personally do not see any reason to have a horrific death even though he committed a horrific act.”