Virginia Keeping Drug Used in Botched Executions

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File photo of a table upon which lethal injections are administered. (Photo by Virginia Department of Corrections via Getty Images)

A table where inmates are executed via lethal injection. (credit: Virginia Department of Corrections via Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va. — One of the drugs used in three recent botched executions will remain part of Virginia’s lethal injection protocol.

Virginia Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor said Friday that officials aren’t considering eliminating midazolam as one of three drugs that can be used as the first dose in Virginia’s three-drug cocktail. Midazolam was one of the drugs used in bungled executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Traylor says Virginia’s three-drug protocol is not comparable to the two-drug protocol used in Arizona on Wednesday, when an inmate gasped for breath for more than 90 minutes before dying.

Virginia added midazolam to the protocol in February and has not yet used it in an execution. Eight men are on Virginia’s death row. No execution dates are scheduled.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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