NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The first inmate to be executed in Tennessee since 2009 just chose what he will eat for his final meal.
According to the Tennessee Department of Correction, Billy Ray Irick, 59, is on death watch ahead of the execution scheduled for Thursday night.
The lethal injection is barring last-minute intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court or some unexpected change.
Irick was convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of a 7-year-old Knoxville girl.
And for his final meal, officials said, Irick chose a Super Deluxe Combo.
The meal includes a “super deluxe burger, onion rings, and a Pepsi.”
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The meal will be provided to him Thursday afternoon.
It would occur a week after Pope Francis revealed church teaching deeming the death penalty "inadmissible" under all circumstances.
A legal challenge against Tennessee's new three-drug cocktail continues on appeal. The state Supreme Court denied a stay Monday, saying the lawsuit wasn't likely to succeed. Gov. Bill Haslam said he won't intervene.
Attorneys have turned to the U.S. Supreme Court.
State and national mental health organizations filed a brief supporting a stay, saying Irick had a long history of mental illness.
A local attorney is making a last-minute approach to delay the execution.
Attorney Michael Working has defended both suspects facing the death penalty if convicted and death row inmates on appeal.
“They are obviously concerned about their client facing an execution with such severe mental deficiencies and mental health problems, especially when that was presented to the original jury in this case," Working said.
Working told FOX13 the lethal drug concoction used has never been tested and could cause Irick pain before death.
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