108th Tennessee General Assembly
4:00 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

State Legislation Update: Immigration And Method-Of-Execution Bills

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A Tennessee state Senate committee has delayed one immigration-related bill and approved another.                                  

Yesterday, the Senate Education Committee put off debate on Senate Bill 1951. That measure would give in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants who came to Tennessee as children and who meet certain academic standards. It would apply to the University of Tennessee and Tennessee Board of Regents systems.

The committee approved Senate Bill 2115. That measure would give in-state tuition to US citizens who are children of undocumented immigrants, which is currently prohibited by state law.

Another bill now before the Tennessee General Assembly would mandate electrocution as the state’s method of execution.                              

State Senate Bill 2580 is now before the Senate Civil Justice Subcommittee. The measure would require the state to use the electric chair if lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional or if the drugs needed to carry out the death sentence aren’t available.

Questions surround the humaneness of lethal injection, as well as the substitution of drugs used in the procedure. In 2000, lethal injection became the main method of execution in Tennessee, but the law gave inmates who committed crimes before January 1st, 1999, the option to die by electrocution.