Tennessee Carries Out First Execution Since 2009

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Tennessee carried out its first execution sine 2009 on Thursday night.

Billy Ray Irick died by lethal injection for the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in 1985.

His last meal was a burger combo.

The execution came after a final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was turned down.

Attorney General Herbert Slattery said, “The death penalty is constitutional and it is the law of the State of Tennessee. It has taken decades and multiple court hearings, but justice was finally served for the murder and aggravated rape of 7-year-old Paula Dyer. Justice was delayed too long for this little girl and her family. I hope tonight’s lawful execution in some way eases the heartache Paula’s family has lived with and brings a degree of closure to a chapter of their lives that has been indescribably difficult.”

Facts and Procedural History

Billy Ray Irick was convicted by a Knox County jury in 1986 of the first-degree murder and aggravated rape of 7-year-old Paula Dyer while she had been entrusted to his care. The jury sentenced Irick to death, and the Tennessee Supreme Court affirmed. He then sought post-conviction relief, which was denied in state court. Additionally, his application for federal habeas relief was denied by the U.S. District Court, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.

In 2010, the Tennessee Supreme Court ordered Irick’s sentence be carried out on Dec. 7, 2010. The Court later vacated its order after Irick intervened in a state-court action filed by another death-row inmate challenging the constitutionality of Tennessee’s lethal injection three-drug protocol. That challenge failed in the trial court, and the Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed.

In Sept. 2013, the TN Dept. of Correction replaced the three-drug protocol with a single-drug protocol. In Oct. 2013, the Tennessee Supreme Court set an execution date of Jan. 15, 2014. The state court then stayed the execution pending disposition of another state action in which 31 death row inmates challenged the single-drug protocol. That challenge failed in the trial court. On appeal, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled the State’s method of execution did not violate the Eighth Amendment and was not unlawful. Irick then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, and his petition was denied. The Tennessee Supreme Court set the execution date for Aug. 9, 2018.

In Feb. 2018, Irick and 32 inmates filed a state-court action challenging the midazolam-based three-drug protocol. The trial court dismissed the challenge. Irick appealed to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and simultaneously asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to stay his execution pending the disposition of the appeal. The Tennessee Supreme Court denied the motion. Irick then appealed to the U.S. District Court, and his petition was denied. Irick also filed a motion for stay with the U.S. Supreme Court; the Court denied the stay.



Home Damaged By Fire Monday Night

A home was damaged by fire Monday  night. Around  9 p.m. , the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire at  5592 Ginkgo Road . The first unit arrived on the scene advising a kitchen fire. The occupants were out of the house. No injuries were reported, but Hamilton County EMS was on the scene for any potential injuries to ... (click for more)

Senator David Perdue Discusses Trade, Funding And National Security On Bloomberg TV

Senator David Perdue joined David Westin and Shery Ahn on Bloomberg TV live from the White House to discuss trade, government funding, the debt crisis, and the critical role U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plays in our national security. Senator Perdue also joined Shannon Bream on Fox News @ Night to discuss the role U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ... (click for more)

Use Purse Building For Chattanooga Museum Of History And Industry

I was caught off-guard and pleasantly stoked by Eric Atkins' editorial on Chattanoogan.com last week suggesting that one of the soon-to-be surplused city buildings could be turned into a history museum.   I didn't think anyone other than myself that I didn't know cared, or at least would turn their thoughts into the topic of an editorial.  I believe that most of the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: One Person Every Hour

After the first weekend in August, the United States was shaken to its core as every major media outlet reported that 67 people had been shot in Chicago, 12 of them dead in the senseless carnage. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pleaded for calm and announced an additional 600 police officers would join other law enforcement in the five most troubled districts. This past weekend, which ... (click for more)

GPS Rallies To Clip CCS In Volleyball

There’s nothing quite like the jitters and general nervousness that goes along with playing in front of the home crowd for the first time. Add to that the pressure of making a good impression on a new coach and you can see what the GPS volleyball team was going through Monday evening. Despite all the outside factors and the fact GPS was facing undefeated Chattanooga Christians, ... (click for more)

Grace Rides Momentum To Win Over Lady Bucs

Volleyball games are often times hinged on one single point late in a match.   Monday  night, however, in a hard-fought battle between Division II Class A East foes Grace Baptist Academy and Boyd-Buchanan the turning point happened early in the second game in what eventually became a 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16) victory for the visiting Lady Eagles. ... (click for more)