Handwritten note to governor from death row inmate among efforts to stop execution

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On Oct. 11, Edmund Zagorski is scheduled for execution at Nashville’s Riverbend Maximum Security Prison, but multiple efforts are underway to save his life, including a handwritten note from the death row inmate to the governor.  

Edward Zagorski was convicted in 1984 for the murders a year earlier of two men who were purchasing marijuana from him in the woods of Hickman County. 

Prosecutors at the time said the victims were shot, robbed and had their throats slit.  

Zagorski’s attorney Robert Hutton has written Governor Bill Haslam asking that the inmate’s death penalty be commuted to life without parole. 

Hutton cites “Ed’s 34 years in prison have been exemplary, with not one single disciplinary infraction.” 

A Tennessee Department of Correction spokesperson told News 2 “our offender management system does not show any disciplinary infractions for him.” 

The letter from Zagorski’s lawyer included a handwritten note from the death row inmate that appeared as follows: 

Dear Governor Haslam, 

Thank you for your time. I just wanted to let you know that I regret everything that happened. I really feel bad for the victims’ families and the vast impact it caused. 

I knew their lives would have been so much better in so many ways and not a day has gone by I haven’t thought about it. If you spare me, I will continue doing my best. 

Respectfully,  

Edmund Zagorski 

Earlier this week, Governor Haslam spoke about the legal power he has to either stop a execution or commute a sentence. 

“We talk to as many people as we can,” said the governor. “Talk to family members. Talk to victims. We are trying to do all of that,” added the governor. 

A decision to spare someone from execution can divide families of victims. 

The governor was asked about a victim’s wife supporting a life sentence instead of death for Zagorski. 

“We have also children of victims saying please don’t,” responded the governor. 

Either way, he promises clemency won’t be an 11th-hour decision. 

“We will try to not make…a last-minute decision just so people know where we stand. There is obviously a court ruling,” said Governor Haslam. 

Another set of Zagorksi’s attorneys also want the Tennessee Supreme Court to stop the execution based on lingering questions about the drugs used for lethal injection. 

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