Tennessee Executes Philip Workman by Lethal Injection


Philip Workman, convicted of killing a Memphis police officer in 1981, was executed by lethal injection early Wednesday after state and federal courts rejected his attorneys' pleas for more time to examine the state's newly revised execution protocols.

Workman, 53, was composed as curtains were pulled back to show him strapped to the gurney in the execution chamber at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.

"I've prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ not to lay charge of my death to any man," he said when asked by Warden Ricky Bell if he had any final words.

He then closed his eyes and about two minutes later said, "I commend my spirit into your hands, Lord Jesus Christ." He took his last visible breaths as his head drifted to the left and he appeared to go unconscious.

About 17 minutes elapsed from the time he was first shown to witnesses to when he was pronounced dead at 1:38 a.m. CDT. He showed no obvious signs of discomfort or pain.

Workman was convicted in the death of Lt. Ronald Oliver during a shootout following his robbery of a fast-food restaurant. He wounded one officer and shot at a second, but he contended another officer's bullet accidentally killed Oliver.

Tennessee executed Sedley Alley lastJune and Robert Glen Coe in 2000 _ both by lethal injection. The last previous execution was by electrocution in 1960.

—Rose French - Associated Press

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