Virginia adds new lethal injection drug

Virginia has added a new drug to be used in executions to replace one that is in short supply across the U.S.

The Virginia Department of Corrections said Friday that rocuronium bromide can now be used in the lethal injection cocktail. The drug is an alternative to the scarce pancuronium bromide, which is used to paralyze muscles.

Richard Dieter of the Death Penalty Information Center says Virginia appears to be the first state to substitute a drug for pancuronium bromide.

He says Texas and Georgia have switched from the three-drug cocktail to just one, bigger dose of a sedative.

In May, an anti-death penalty group called Reprieve complained that Virginia had a stockpile of pancuronium bromide while hospitals are in short supply.