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Virginia Obtains Execution Drugs in Secret, Death Row Inmate Appeals

Steve Helber


A man who murdered a Richmond couple and their young daughters in 2006 is set to be executed by the state in just a couple of weeks. In a courtroom in Richmond Tuesday, lawyers asked a federal judge to step in. 

Mallory Noe-Payne has details.


Lawyers for Ricky Gray are asking for a preliminary injunction in his case.

At the heart of their argument is the state’s unusual method of acquiring the drugs that will be used for Gray’s planned lethal injection. 

Last year, lawmakers and the Governor struggled with how to acquire the drugs -- they’re increasingly hard to come by as pharmaceutical companies refuse to make or sell them. In a compromise, the Governor suggested allowing the state to purchase the drugs in secret, then the seller’s name wouldn’t become public record. 

Now Gray’s lawyers argue that lack of transparency violates their client’s rights to due process.

Gray is scheduled to be executed January 18, the judge in the case says a decision should take about a week.