Judge denies executed inmate's request not to be autopsied

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A federal judge in Nashville has ruled the state may perform an autopsy on the body of an inmate executed last week.

The family of Philip Workman did not want his body to go through an autopsy and was asking the state to release his body.

Before Workman died, he asked that he not be autopsied because it conflicts with his Seventh Day Adventist religious beliefs. The request led federal District Judge Todd Campbell to bar the state from conducting the autopsy before May 24th, giving Workman's lawyers time to appeal his ruling.

At a hearing on Monday, state medical examiner Bruce Levy testified that the autopsy on Workman is needed to make sure the state carried out his lethal injection appropriately. Workman's execution was the first under the state's revised procedures.

Campbell also ruled the state can't perform the autopsy until after May 24th to give Workman's lawyers time to appeal to the 6th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals.

Workman was executed May ninth for the 1981 shooting death of a Memphis police officer.

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