Richmond Times-Disp Opinion – Virginia kills dogs more gently than this


By: TY ALPER | Times-Dispatch
Published: August 07, 2012

Virginia prison officials made national news recently when they announced plans to use a new execution drug due to a shortage of one of the three chemicals that has been employed in the state’s last 79 executions. But the real news is this: As other states have responded to the drug shortage by switching to a more humane execution procedure, Virginia stubbornly clings to a barbaric and unnecessary method.

Like many states that execute people, Virginia ensures that prisoners are paralyzed before executioners inject them with the drug that kills them. Some people think execution by lethal injection is like putting an animal to sleep. But Virginia’s lethal injection process is nothing like animal euthanasia. In fact, it would be illegal to euthanize an animal in Virginia the way the state executes people.