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Tennessee Governor Says Execution Handled In "Very Professional" Way

Gov. Bill Haslam says corrections officials have told him Tennessee's first execution since 2009 was handled in a "very professional manner."

Haslam told reporters Tuesday that state corrections officials and others there during Billy Ray Irick's Aug. 9 execution told him "everybody did their job the way it was supposed to" be done.

Irick received a three-drug injection series and was pronounced dead after about 20 minutes. Federal public defender Kelley Henry said witness observations suggest the first drug, midazolam, didn't render Irick fully unconscious.

Irick was convicted in the 1985 rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl.

Tennessee's Supreme Court is considering a challenge of the drugs, but previously deemed that appeal unlikely to succeed and declined to delay Irick's execution.

Two executions are scheduled in October and December.

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