• Hundreds gather across Tennessee to protest execution of Billy Ray Irick

    By: Jeremy Pierre

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Vigils to protest the execution of convicted child rapist and killer Billy Ray Irick happened in multiple locations across Tennessee Thursday. 

    People gathered in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville to protest the lethal injection of Irick, who was convicted of raping and murdering a 7-year-old girl in 1985. 

    RELATED: Tennessee inmate convicted of rape, murder of child executed by lethal injection

    Irick was executed Thursday at 7 p.m. via lethal injection inside the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. 

    Protesters remembered Paula Dyer – the girl Irick was convicted of killing – during the vigils, but also protested Irick’s execution.

    One of the spots people gathered to protest was Cooper-Young. 


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    One of the main themes: the drugs used in the execution are dangerous. 

    One protestor said he is against the drugs used to kill Irick.     

    "I think the need some people feel to carry out this execution is really troubling and really unfortunate,” Josh Spickler said.

    Several drugs were used in performing the lethal injection.

    "They are experimenting on a human being in an attempt to kill him,” Spickler said.

    Spickler said the drugs used in Irick’s execution have proven to be inhumane in several other executions. 

    He said at least one of the drugs used was involved in “several botched executions in other states.”

    Spickler told FOX13 the last 33 years have been extremely hard on Dyer’s family, and this final step toward justice may not exactly give them closure.  

    "Victims of crime are certainly a big part of this conversation because they are not getting justice either,” Spickler said.

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