Virginia Governor Ralph Northam backs company opposition to medicine misuse in executions

Governor Ralph Northam – July 2017

During a public hearing in 2017, Virginia Governor-elect Ralph Northam recognised the concerns of the healthcare industry about the misuse of medicines in executions, stating that “the pharmaceutical companies, the majority of them, have said we don’t want the medications that we manufacture used to put people to death.”

At the same hearing, Governor Northam questioned Virginia’s current execution secrecy law, which state officials seek to use to obscure their efforts to obtain lethal injection medicines against companies’ wishes, saying: “We need to look at legislation to make sure that if the law of the land is the death penalty, that we do it humanely and fairly and not in secret with compound medications that sometimes work and sometimes don’t work”.