february 6, 2014 (huffington)
Virginia could revive the electric chair as a method to execute prisoners, as European companies and one major distributor in the US block the sale of drugs required for lethal injections.
Experiments with a new ‘cocktail’ of drugs have proved controversial so far. Last month, murderer Dennis McGuires took 25 minutes to die, and was seen gasping painfully in his last moments when he was executed in Ohio.
The Washington Post reported that Virginia could soon have the power to compel prisoners to the electric chair, with a new law going through the state government’s house of representatives.
At the moment, death row prisoners in Virginia are allowed to choose between lethal injection and electrocution.
If lawmakers block the plan, a de facto moratorium on executions could be forced by inmates, who could legitimately demand execution by lethal injection, with the state having no facilities to carry that out.