The state is having a difficult time trying to find a way to execute prisoners. After the last attempt at using a new cocktail for lethal injection caused a man to suffer for 20 minutes before kicking the bucket the state is back to the drawing board. Virginia is looking at bringing back a classic as a backup plan to lethal injection:
Virginia lawmakers are expected to vote this week to establish the electric chair as the state’s default method of execution when drugs used for lethal injection are not available.
The measure, prompted by a long-standing shortage of the drugs, would make Virginia the only state where a death-row prisoner could be forced in some circumstances to be electrocuted.
The bill has passed the House of Delegates and is expected to emerge from the Virginia Senate this week. A spokesman said Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has not taken a position on signing or vetoing the legislation.
It’s kind of funny in a sick sort of way watching the state grasp for a method to execute people that is convoluted enough to be called humane. Firing squads are unacceptable because they leave a mess afterwards, which makes the act of killing look horrific. I believe the electric chair went out of fashion, at least in part, for the same reason. Watching a guy twitch as electricity is surged through his body is pretty brutal. It’s certainly more brutal than watching a guy fall asleep as a cocktail of drugs is injected into his arm.