RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's list of approved lethal injection drugs now includes one of the chemicals used in an Ohio execution that led to a lawsuit by the man's family who says his death was cruel and inhuman.
The Virginia Department of Corrections says it's approved the sedative midazolam as an alternative first drug in the state's three-drug execution protocol.
Midazolam was one of two drugs used in last month's execution of an Ohio inmate who made snorting and gasping sounds and took 26 minutes to die. His family is suing Ohio.
The company that manufactures midazolam opposes its use for executions but has been unable to stop some state prison systems from obtaining it.
Virginia is second only to Texas in the number of executions since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.
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