NASHVILLE, Tenn. – David Earl Miller used a fire poker to repeatedly bludgeon and stab Lee Standifer, a young woman who was born with mild brain damage. Miller was on a first date with her nearly 40 years ago when he suddenly decided she had to die.
On Thursday at 7 p.m., barring any last-minute court or political intervention, it will be Miller’s turn, reported Time.
He destroyed Standifer on the night of May 20, 1981, continually thrashing her with the poker and driving the implement so deep into her in some places, officials said Miller would have needed to use a hammer. He claimed not to remember the murder, reportedly drunk and high on LSD at the time, according to Fox News.
For what will likely be his final day on earth Thursday, Miller, 61, has been granted several requests. With a budget of $20, he’ll eat a final meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits and coffee before he’s strapped in the electric chair, which he asked to be used as the means of execution in lieu of lethal injection, the Tennessean reported. As a result of his status, Miller was placed on deathwatch Tuesday despite his legal team’s work to delay the execution.
If the execution goes through, Miller will be the third death row inmate put to death this year, and the second to die by electrocution. In November, Edmund Zagorski died by electric chair after a federal court judge ordered the state to honor the inmate’s wishes.
BREAKING Gov. Bill Haslam will not stop the execution of death row inmate David Earl Miller, which is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. https://t.co/hlZo5Jk8E2
— Tennessean (@Tennessean) December 6, 2018
Some inmates have argued death by electric chair rather than lethal injection is “the lesser of two evils.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam denied a clemency application made by Miller’s legal team. Miller’s attorney asked for mercy on behalf of the inmate, saying if the convicted killer was tried today he would not be sentenced to death and “it is likely he would not even be convicted of first-degree murder.”
Read this on David Earl Miller by @mlakin, who is set to watch Miller die in Tennessee's electric chair on Thursday. Miller is the state's longest-serving death row inmate, and he just chose his last meal: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits & coffee.https://t.co/VHdl3AtinA
— Travis Dorman (@travdorman) December 5, 2018
The request, filed last week, argued Miller had “severe mental illness” at the time of the crime and “accepts responsibility for the death of his friend.” His lawyer asked Miller’s life be spared so he can live the remainder of his years in prison.
Separately, Miller has pending two last-minute petitions asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution.