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"Let's rock", the man declared when a warden asked if he had any final words, according to reporters present in the death chamber.

The eyewitness says he grimaced as a sponge was put over his head.

The witnesses said the inmate's fists then clenched when the electricity was applied and his body tensed and appeared to rise during the two times the current went through him.

Last time Tennessee used its electric chair was 2007.

When the state supreme court rejected the challenge, he asked to be put to death by electric chair.

On Thursday, Edmund Zagorski became the first person in five years to die by the electric chair in the United States.

At the time, other inmates at Riverbend Maximum Security Institute who are friendly with Zagorski reportedly collected money to get him pizza.

The execution was carried out minutes after the...

The Supreme Court's statement said Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the dissenting voice on Thursday, noting Zagorski's hard decision to opt for the electric chair.

Zagorski's lawyer had argued that it was unconstitutional to force him to choose between the electric chair and lethal injection.

The Supreme Court said Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Tennessee has used the chair only once in the last 58 years.

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Vigils have been organized across Tennessee to oppose the state's plans to put an inmate to death in the electric chair. His execution is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m.

Zagorski was sentenced to die in 1984 for the murder of two men in a drug deal.

A reporter who witnessed the scene said at a post-execution news briefing that Zagorski could be seen smiling while strapped down.

A lethal injection could take up to 18 minutes to take his life, and Zagorski's lawyers argued those last minutes would be "utter terror and agony".

He chose the chair because he thinks it will be quicker, but his legal team maintains both methods are unconstitutional.

Separately Thursday, Zagorski had a petition pending before a lower court claiming bad attorney counsel at trial resulted in an unfair verdict. In 2013, Virginia killed a man convicted of two murders.

Tennessee's electric chair was inspected on October 10 and found to meet the criteria for an execution, state documents show.

The 63-year-old death row inmate's legal challenge focused on objections to the constitutionality of the electric chair.

Weeks after choosing the electric chair over lethal injection, a Tennessee death row inmate would be the second person in the state to be executed that way in almost six decades.

Zagorski began his sentence in March 1984 and the state's prosecutors have argued "the statute also gives the Tennessee Department of Correction the authority to promulgate rules to carry out the election (of electrocution instead of lethal injection)".