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The gurney and electric chair sit inside the execution chamber connected to the witness gallery Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Lacy Atkins, Lacy Atkins/The Tennessean)

Tennessee cannot execute death row inmates using a controversial three-drug mix because doing so would violate constitutional bans on cruel and unusual punishment, lawyers argue in a new lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed in Davidson County Chancery Court by lawyers representing 33 death row inmates, comes days after Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery moved to push the state's largest ramp-up of executions in nearly 80 years.

"What Tennessee is proposing to do amounts to torturing prisoners to death, which we know because we've seen this protocol fail in other states," said Supervisory Assistant Federal Public Defender Kelley J. Henry, an attorney for the death row inmates.

Read more at our news partner's website, tennessean.com.

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