4th Circuit denies Ricky Gray's request to delay execution

Updated: Jan. 13, 2017 at 5:29 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Federal Appeals Court ruled on Friday against a request to delay the execution of murderer Ricky Gray on the grounds lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Wynn, with the concurrence of judges Diaz and Davis, ruled against the Emergency Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, meaning his execution remains set for January 18. The ruling comes just days after a Richmond Circuit Court judge denied Gray's request for a delay.

Attorneys for Gray were joined by the ACLU on Friday in saying the use of the drug cocktail planned to be used in the execution is cruel and unusual. Lawyers 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.

A video released this week includes audio of Ricky Gray expressing his remorse for killing the Harvey family.

"I know my words can't bring anything back, but I continuously feel horrible for the circumstances that I put them through," said Gray. "I robbed them of a lifelong supply of joy. I've stolen Christmas, birthdays, and Easters, Thanksgivings, graduations, and weddings, children. There's nothing I can do to make up for that."

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