The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week regarding whether a death row inmate can properly challenge the constitutionality of electrocution as a possible method of execution.
The Court will consider only one issue of many that are part of a lawsuit by 34 death row inmates challenging Tennessee's death penalty protocol.
The electrocution issue is before the Supreme Court as an interlocutory appeal - that is an appeal of only part of a case that is continuing in a lower court.
The Court agreed to hear the State's request to dismiss the plaintiffs' challenge to electrocution as a method of execution.
The State asserts that none of the plaintiffs are currently subject to execution by electrocution, making their challenges unready for litigation at this time
Although there has not been a final decision in the case at the trial court level, some elements of the lawsuit have already been reviewed by the Supreme Court.
In addition to hearing this claim regarding electrocution, the Supreme Court ruled in March that the state was not required to release to the plaintiffs the names of those involved in carrying out an execution in Tennessee.