Virginia is poised to execute Prieto, a serial killer, who claims he’s intellectually disabled using lethal injection drugs from Texas because the state’s supply of another controversial drug will expire the day before the execution is supposed to take place.
His decision came after Prieto’s lawyers failed to adequately show that the drugs were unsafe.
Prieto’s main attorney, Robert Lee, complained that he had filed an 11th hour appeal on behalf of his client with the US Supreme Court, but that the execution was carried out before the United States highest court could render a decision.
Protesters gathered outside of the Charlottesville City Courthouse to demonstrate against the execution of convicted serial killer Alfredo Prieto.
Prieto’s attorneys are seeking information about the supplier of the drugs, tests confirming its sterility and potency and documents showing that the drugs were properly handled.
Alfredo Prieto, 49, was sentenced to death in the 1988 killing of two college students near Reston.
Crimes that Prieto has been convicted or linked to by evidence include the 1988 shootings of Rachael Raver and Warren Fulton III on the outskirts of the USA capital, the Washington Post reported.
He was then on death column in California for the 1990 assault and murder of a 15-year-old young lady, who was kidnapped alongside two other young ladies in Ontario.
“Mr. Prieto was convicted in a fair and impartial trial, and a jury sentenced him to death in accordance with Virginia law”, McAuliffe said in a statement. “However, because Virginia uses a paralytic in its lethal injection protocol, we will never know whether Mr. Prieto’s execution is legal and humane”.
The case was transferred to a new judge in Richmond – U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson -and a hearing was set for 1 p.m. Thursday. Missouri officials on Wednesday however postponed the execution of a convicted murderer for more than a month while officials address concerns about the drugs to be used in the execution.
Virginia had been planning to execute Prieto at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Greensville Correctional Center, but a federal judge in Alexandria approved an order Wednesday temporarily blocking the execution.
Prieto had also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene, saying he’s intellectually disabled, and therefore ineligible for the death penalty.
They also argued that the prisoner’s low IQ of 66 exempted him from the death penalty. “Without a stay, it is likely that the Commonwealth of Virginia will execute an intellectually disabled man”.