For the first time in nearly two decades, a Florida prison inmate is demanding that he be put to death in the antiquated electric chair and not by a lethal injection method that has been repeatedly challenged in court, the St. Petersburg Times reports. Wayne Doty, 42, has been on death row since 2011 after he killed a fellow inmate. In a state where condemned inmates routinely wait for decades to be executed, Doty wants to die immediately, partly to attain “spiritual freedom.” Sean Fisher, a private investigator who once worked for Doty, said, “I think his goal is to get put to death as quickly as possible. I think he’s nervous about lethal injection being found unconstitutional.”
The Florida Department of Corrections did not anticipate that an inmate would demand electrocution. “We’ve received the inmate’s request and we’re reviewing it,” said prison spokesman McKinley Lewis. Executions in Florida have been on hold for much of the past year because of lawsuits alleging that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment, and thus unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld its use and the next execution is set for next Thursday in the case of Jerry Correll, who killed four people in Orlando. Florida is one of eight states, mostly in the South, that have kept the electric chair as a form of capital punishment. Tennessee reinstated it last year because of challenges to lethal injections. Florida’s electric chair is known by the cynical nickname “Ol’ Sparky.” The three-legged chair has been idle for 16 years after a second botched execution forced the Legislature and then-Gov. Jeb Bush to change the method.