VA's Governor: Keep Lethal Injection Suppliers Secret

Apr 11, 2016

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is rejecting a bid to bring back the electric chair as the default method of executing criminals on Death Row. Instead, he's proposing a plan that would allow the state to get lethal drugs from secret providers.

Members of the General Assembly rejected a similar plan last year, when several members argued that open government required public disclosure of where the drugs came from and who manufactured them. Now the governor says giving the supplier of lethal drugs anonymity is the only way to avoid forcing inmates into the electric chair, which he says is reprehensible. 

"If they do not accept my amendments, I want to be very clear, I will veto this bill. A veto of this bill will halt capital punishment in the commonwealth of Virginia."

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says lawmakers are in a tight spot.

"The General Assembly is not going to override the governor's changes here. I think you are going to hear some voices who will be critical of him, but I don't think there will be enough of those voices to override the governor's changes to this bill."

Members of the General Assembly will convene in Richmond next week to consider the governor's amendment.

I'm Michael Pope.