Judge denies Ricky Gray's request to delay execution

Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 at 1:48 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond judge ruled on Tuesday against a request to delay the execution of murderer Ricky Gray on the grounds lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.

Judge Henry Hudson ruled against the motion for injunctive relief, meaning his execution remains set for January 18.

After the ruling, attorneys for Gray said they would continue to fight the use of the drug cocktail planned to be used in the execution.

"Midazolam is not appropriate for use in lethal injection executions. The Virginia Department of Corrections plans to use midazolam, in its compounded form, which has never been used before in a U.S. execution," said Gray's attorney, Lisa J. Fried, in a written statement. "The string of problematic executions is the inevitable result of using the sedative midazolam in combination with drugs that cause excruciating pain. It is our position that it is unconstitutional for the VDOC to carry out an execution that risks chemically torturing a prisoner to death. We will continue to challenge this risky proposed method of execution."

The statement echoes the argument laid out their cases in court last week. The Commonwealth argued the drugs are made by companies that meet federal and state regulations and were never cited for any violations.

It's been more than a decade since the brutal murders of Bryan and Kathryn Harvey, and their daughters, Stella and Ruby, inside their home New Year's Day 2006.

In letters written to the prison system, Gray called Virginia's execution process a violation of his constitutional rights and would prefer to die before a firing squad, which would prolong this process even more.

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