Virginia Adds New Lethal Injection Drug

Friday, Jul 27, 2012  |  Updated 10:52 AM EDT
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Virginia Adds New Lethal Injection Drug

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Virginia has added a new drug to be used in executions to replace one that is in short supply.

The Virginia Department of Corrections said Friday that Rocuronium Bromide can now be used in the lethal injection cocktail. The drug is an alternative to Pancuronium Bromide, which is scarce nationwide.

Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center says Virginia appears to be the first state to substitute a drug for Pancuronium Bromide, which is used to paralyze the muscles. He says Texas and Georgia have switched from the three-drug cocktail to a bigger dose of the sedative that typically is the first of three drugs administered.

In May, an anti-death penalty group called Reprieve complained that Virginia had a stockpile of Pancuronium Bromide while hospitals are in short supply.

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