law enforcement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's decision to spare the life of a death row inmate came down to concerns about the fairness of his trial, not doubts about his guilt.

For weeks, supporters of Ivan Teleguz urged McAuliffe to halt his execution because they believe he may be innocent.

Teleguz was scheduled to be put to death next week, but on Thursday, McAuliffe commuted his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Democratic governor is facing mounting pressure to halt next week's scheduled execution of an inmate whose case has seen two witnesses recant, years after he was convicted of ordering his ex-girlfriend's killing.

Ivan Teleguz is scheduled to receive a lethal injection April 25 unless granted clemency by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

McAuliffe is Catholic. He's said he personally opposes capital punishment but will uphold the law as governor. He hasn't stopped an execution during his tenure.

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JARRATT, Va. (AP) - Virginia has executed a man convicted of killing two young girls and their parents during a New Year's Day home invasion more than 11 years ago.

Authorities say 39-year-old Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. Wednesday following a lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia.

Asked if he had any last words, he responded, "Nope."

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia inmate scheduled to be put to death this week for the slayings of two young girls has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution.

Ricky Gray filed an emergency appeal with the high court on Tuesday. Gray is scheduled to be executed Wednesday for the slayings of 9-year-old Stella Harvey and her 4-year-old sister Ruby. Gray was convicted of killing the girls and their parents at their home on New Year's Day 2006.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to halt the execution of a man convicted of killing a family of four in Virginia.

Ricky Gray's attorneys had asked U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson for a delay to enable him to challenge the state's plan to use lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy. Gray's attorneys say the state risks "chemically torturing" the man.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Documents show Virginia prison officials have paid a compounding pharmacy $66,000 to obtain lethal injection drugs needed for two executions.

The cost of carrying out death sentences in the state is rising dramatically under a law that allows prison officials to purchase lethal injections drugs from a compounding pharmacy the state refuses to name.

The state is spending roughly 63 times last year's going price for Virginia's three-drug lethal injection package.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Department

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal of a Virginia death row inmate who killed two people during an escape.

William Morva's attorney argued before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in March that he was improperly denied a chance to show that he wouldn't do it again if spared the death penalty.

But a three-judge panel of the court rejected his claims Thursday and affirmed the lower court's ruling.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A coalition of several hundred religious leaders is urging Virginia lawmakers to reject a proposal to conceal the identities of pharmacies supplying drugs to be used in executions.

Several representatives of the interfaith coalition are scheduled to discuss their objections at a news conference Monday at the General Assembly Building in Richmond.

Lethal injection drugs have been hard to obtain in Virginia and other states. That situation prompted Del. Jackson Miller to propose allowing Virginia to use the electric chair if drugs aren't available.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe says Virginia faces "somewhat of a crisis" over a lack of lethal-injection drugs for a scheduled execution next month.

State officials are frantically searching for the drugs for the March 16 execution of convicted killer Ricky Gray, one of Virginia's seven remaining death row inmates. The Democratic governor said Wednesday on Washington's WTOP-FM that it was "too soon" to say whether Gray's execution would be delayed. The state has two vials of pentobarbital it received from Texas last year.

Virginia Department of Corrections

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker is joining a chorus of voices across numerous states pushing officials to reveal the source of drugs used in lethal-injection executions.

Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell's measure appears to have little chance, however: A subcommittee that examined the measure Tuesday voted 4-1 against it.

A number of states have passed secrecy laws to stabilize their execution drug supplies. Officials say the laws protect companies that fear retaliation for their association with the death penalty.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials have quietly granted the state's death row inmates new privileges amid legal challenges from the men awaiting execution.

Only a few months ago, condemned inmates left their tiny cells just three days a week for showers, and an hour a day five days a week for recreation in a fenced outdoor cell. A sheet of glass separated them from family members during visits.

Virginia Department of Corrections

JARRATT, Va. (AP) - A convicted serial killer who faced the death penalty in two states has become the first inmate to be executed in nearly three years in Virginia.

Alfredo Prieto was pronounced dead at 9:17 p.m. Thursday at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.

Virginia has long been among the most prolific death penalty states, but had not put an inmate to death since January 2013 before this week.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has denied a last-minute attempt to delay the execution of a convicted serial killer who claims that he's intellectually disabled.

Alfredo Prieto's attorneys had asked McAuliffe to grant a temporary reprieve of his Oct. 1 execution so that the 49-year-old can be transferred to California. His lawyers there hope to argue that Prieto is ineligible for the death penalty because he's intellectually disabled.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group that advocates for people with intellectual disabilities wants Gov. Terry McAuliffe to delay the execution of a man convicted of killing two George Washington students in 1988.

Alfredo Prieto's attorneys have asked McAuliffe to grant a temporary reprieve of his Oct. 1 execution so he can be transferred to California and assessed on whether he's intellectually disabled.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The controversial execution drug approved by the U.S. Supreme Court is used in Virginia, but no executions are scheduled and the state's supply expires at the end of September.

Midazolam is one of three drugs Virginia can use in step one of its three-drug execution protocol. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Kinney says the state doesn't have either of the other two step-one drugs and is unable to obtain them. Also, it's uncertain whether additional midazolam will be available after the current batch expires.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - For the better part of three decades, Virginia operated one of the busiest execution chambers in the nation. Not anymore.

Statistics compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center show that Virginia has sent only six people to death row in the last nine years after sending 40 over the previous eight years. As a result, the state only has eight inmates awaiting execution - down from a high of 57 in 1995.


DOVER, Del. (AP) - Death penalty opponents in the General Assembly say they plan to reintroduce legislation to abolish capital punishment in Delaware.

The legislation, which was discussed at a news conference Wednesday, mirrors a bill that passed the Senate in 2013 by only one vote before dying in a House committee.

The legislation would remove execution as a possible punishment for first-degree murder, leaving life in prison without the possibility of parole as the only sentence for that crime.

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James Cooke Jr. was given the date of December 4th for his execution in the 2005 rape and murder of Lindsay Bonistall.

But that date is expected to be delayed as Cooke pursues his appeals.

During the proceedings yesterday Superior Court Judge William Carpenter read out a brief statement yesterday informing Cooke of the date after the Delaware Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence.

Outside the courtroom Cooke’s attorney told reporters that he expects that his client will file a motion claiming that he had ineffective counsel.


DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware has 17 condemned prisoners facing the death penalty, but no means of executing any of them.

Prison officials in Delaware, like other states, have found it difficult to get the drugs used in lethal injections. Nationwide, states started facing shortages several years ago after drug manufacturers began prohibiting the use of their products in executions because of ethical concerns and fear of unwanted publicity.

\Records obtained by The Associated Press show that supplies of two of the three drugs used in Delaware have expired.


            Condemned Delaware killer Shannon Johnson got his wish and was executed early this morning.

            After his conviction for the 2008 murder of Cameron Hamlin,  Johnson said that he did not wish to appeal his death sentence.

            Following the execution the victim’s father, Vandrick Hamlin, told a press conference that now it was time for the family to get on with their lives adding – in his words – We can begin healing this morning.”


       Friday’s execution of convicted killer Shannon Johnson has been delayed by a federal judge despite his wishes that no further appeals be made on his behalf.

       U.S. Chief District Judge Gregory Sleet issued the order this morning to give himself more time to review the appeal by the Federal Public Defender’s office seeking to halt the lethal injection sentence. 

       Delaware state prosecutors and Johnson’s attorney both objected and raised questions about the last-minute filing by federal defenders.


            The Delaware Federal Public Defender’s Office is trying to stop the Friday execution of convicted killer Shannon Johnson.

            He has waived all appeals paving the way for his lethal injection sentence.

            But in its third attempt to stop the execution the Public Defender’s office filed an 88 page brief with the US District Court.

            It argues that despite a lengthy competency hearing Johnson is not competent to waive his appeals.