Judge again delays autopsy on executed inmate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A federal judge today extended an order barring the state from performing an autopsy on the body of a death row inmate executed last week.

The family of Philip Workman doesn't want his body to go through an autopsy and is asking the state to release his body.

Before Workman died, he asked that he not be autopsied because it conflicts with his religious beliefs, a request upheld last week by federal District Judge Todd Campbell.

At a hearing today, Campbell extended his order not to have the state perform an autopsy, to allow him to issue an opinion on what to do with Workman's body. The deadline for Campbell's initial temporary restraining order against the state was set to end at midnight.

State authorities say they want to perform the autopsy and obtain blood and other fluids from Workman's body to confirm the execution was properly done and did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Workman was executed early Wednesday for the 1981 shooting death of a Memphis police officer.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)