However, the death penalty was revived in the year 1978. By the year 1998, the state legislature provided another choice for executing the condemned prisoners. This was by means of lethal injection. In March 2000, legislation was enacted in this state that made death by lethal injection the primary procedure for executing those condemned to death (Tennessee Department of Correction, n.d.).
With the reintroduction of capital punishment in 1916, the prison wardens were required to maintain an official ledger that provided details of the executed. During the period 1916 to 1960, executions were conducted exclusively at the Tennessee State Penitentiary in Nashville. The execution of Coe by lethal injection, in the year 2000, was this state’s first execution, after nearly four decades (Tennessee Department of Correction, n.d.).
The Tennessee Code § 39 – 13 – 202 describes the offenses that merit the capital punishment. These are; first, the intentional and premeditated killing of another. Second, the killing of another during the perpetration or attempted perpetration of first-degree murder; terrorist act; rape; robbery; arson; burglary; aggravated child abuse, neglect or rape; rape; rape of a child; or aircraft piracy. Third, the killing of another individual resulting from the unlawful discharging, placing or hurling of a bomb or destructive device (Palmer, 2013, p. 335).
Code § 39 – 13- 204(i) of Tennessee stipulates that the prosecutor has to prove the existence of one of the following statutory aggravating circumstances, during the penalty stage of the proceedings. First, the murder was perpetrated against a person who was not older than 12 years of age and the accused was 18 years or older. Second, the accused had been convicted, previously, of one or more felonies that had involved violence to the person (Palmer, 2013, p. 335).