Convicted in 1987 of the torture and murder of Wanda and Sheila Romines the previous year, Steve West is still sitting on death row in Riverbend Maximum Security prison in Nashville. He’s scheduled to die August 15.
His co-defendant, Ronnie Martin, later pleaded guilty – and so avoided a death sentence. He was also a minor at the time of the murders. He and Sheila Romines both attended Anderson County High School.
Starting with Billy Irick on August 9, Tennessee has executed three inmates in the past six months – and has six more executions scheduled through April of next year. Tennessee seems to be bucking the national trend among the 30 states that permit capital punishment.
West and another death-row inmate, Nicky Sutton, have filed lawsuits against the state, seeking to die by firing squad, which is not a form of execution used in Tennessee. The available options are electric chair or lethal injection.