Virginia set to execute man under more secretive protocol

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – When Virginia carries out its next execution, more of the process will be shrouded in secrecy. Virginia is scheduled to execute 35-year-old William Morva on Thursday for the killings of a hospital security guard and a sheriff’s deputy, unless the state governor intervenes. Recent changes to the state’s protocol means that if Morva is executed, he would remain shielded from the view of his attorney and media witnesses until after he has been restrained and IV lines have been inserted. Execution witnesses used to watch inmates walk into the chamber and be restrained. A curtain would then be closed so witnesses couldn’t see the placement of the IV and heart monitors and reopened so the execution could begin. The change has drawn fire from defense attorneys and transparency advocates.

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