lethal injection


RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- In the span of a year, the cost for the state of Virginia to obtain lethal injection drugs has leapt from about $525 per execution to $16,500.
The price rose after the General Assembly passed a law allowing the state to buy execution drugs from compounding pharmacies whose identities are secret.

The law, which took effect July 1, was passed after lawmakers feared executions in the state would grind to a halt as pharmaceutical companies stopped participating in the death penalty nationwide.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general says he doesn't believe a proposal to allow the state to obtain lethal injection drugs from anonymous compounding pharmacies would violate federal law.

Republican Del. Jackson Miller had asked Attorney General Mark Herring for an opinion before lawmakers reconvene Wednesday to consider Gov. Terry McAuliffe's proposal.

In his opinion released late Tuesday, Herring rejected the argument that federal law allows pharmacies to compound drugs only with a valid prescription.


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.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proposed making significant changes to a bill that sought to allow the state to force condemned inmates to die in the electric chair when lethal injection drugs aren't available.
The Democratic governor's amendment to the bill would give the state to power to compound lethal injection drugs needed for executions. It also would allow the state to keep secret the names of pharmacies that supply the drugs.  

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill that would force condemned inmates to die by the electric chair if the state can't find lethal injection drugs is one step closer to final approval in Virginia.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 9-5 to endorse the bill Wednesday, sending it to the full Republican-controlled Senate. The bill sailed through the GOP-dominated House last month. A spokesman for Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has declined to say whether he would support the bill.


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.

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.

Virginia Department of Corrections

A scheduled federal court hearing on a Virginia inmate's challenge of the state's use of lethal injection drugs from Texas has been set for 1 p.m. in Richmond.

U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga had scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. Thursday in Alexandria after Alfredo Prieto's attorneys asked the court to halt his execution until officials disclose more information about the drugs they plan to use.

But the hearing was canceled late Wednesday after Trenga approved the state's request to transfer the case to Richmond.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is scheduled to take up a measure to repeal the death penalty.

The Senate is set to consider amendments to the bill on Friday.

A vote on the measure is not expected until next week.

Maryland has five men on death row. The state's last execution was in 2005.

Maryland's death penalty has been on hold since a 2006 court ruling found the state's lethal injection protocols weren't properly approved by a legislative committee.