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Assembly 2014: Status of Capital Punishment Unclear as Virginia Senate Delays Electric Chair Bill

The State Senate has delayed action on a bill that would re-establish the electric chair as Virginia’s primary method of execution, possibly killing it for the year and placing the practice of capital punishment in the state in jeopardy.  Currently, those sentenced to die in Virginia have the option of selecting either lethal injection or electrocution as the means of execution. Should the inmate not choose, the method used is lethal injection.  This is administered through a three-drug cocktail. Manufacturers of these drugs, many of them based in countries that prohibit the death penalty, recently decided to stop selling them in the U.S. The bill specifies the electric chair as the method if the drugs are not available.