Virginia to shield identities of execution drug suppliers

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia lawmakers have approved a proposal that will allow the state to buy execution drugs from compounding pharmacies whose identities will remain secret.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 22-16 to give Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s proposal final approval on Wednesday.

The measure reflects growing concern in Virginia and states across the country about the ability to maintain a steady supply of lethal injection drugs. McAuliffe says without the law, executions in Virginia would grind to a halt.

Virginia will join several states with laws that allow officials to keep secret the identities of lethal injection suppliers. Inmates and media organizations have challenged the laws in Georgia, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas with mixed results.

McAuliffe, a Roman Catholic, says he personally opposes capital punishment but believes he must uphold state law.

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