Attorneys Challenge Virginia's Lethal Injections

Say Virginia's execution team is practicing medicine, pharmacy and anesthesiology without a license

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012  |  Updated 12:27 PM EDT
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Attorneys Challenge Va. Lethal Injections

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Two Alexandria lawyers claim Virginia's lethal injection practices are illegal.

Attorneys Meghan Shapiro and Christopher Leibig filed court papers Tuesday saying the execution team at the Department of Corrections is practicing medicine, pharmacy and anesthesiology without a license. The complaint, filed in Richmond Circuit Court, seeks an injunction halting the allegedly unauthorized practices.

Shapiro said in a telephone interview that she's just trying to hold prison officials accountable.

Identities of the execution team members are secret under state law. But Shapiro says depositions and discovery materials in federal lawsuits support her claims.

In Virginia, death row inmates can choose lethal injection or electrocution. If they decline to choose, they get the injection.

No executions are scheduled at this time.

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