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Breaking News : Virginia executes serial killer Alfredo Prieto after appeals fail

Virginia executes serial killer Alfredo Prieto after appeals fail.


Killer claimed he was intellectually disabled but an appeal court dismissed his case and another claiming that the type of drug used in the execution was unsafe

Virginia has executed Alfredo Prieto, a convicted serial killer who claimed he was

intellectually disabled.

The 49-year-old was pronounced dead at 9:17pm local time on Thursday after

being given a lethal three-drug combination, including the sedative

pentobarbital, at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarrat.

Prieto, wearing jeans and a light blue shirt, showed no emotion as he was

strapped to the gurney.

“I would like to say thanks to all my lawyers, all my supporters and all my

family members,” he said, before mumbling, “Get this over with.”

The El Salvador-born had fought to prove that he was intellectually disabled

to bar the state from putting him to death.

But a federal appeals court in Virginia upheld his death sentence in June and

the US supreme court refused on Thursday to block his execution. A federal judge

separately rejected a concern that the drugs used to put him to death –

pentobarbitol supplied by the Texas prison system – were unsafe.

Prieto was sentenced to death in Virginia in 2010 for the murder of a young

couple more than two decades earlier. Rachael Raver and her boyfriend, Warren

Fulton III, both 22, were found shot to death in a wooded area a few days after

being seen at a nightspot in Washington DC.

Prieto was on death row in California at the time for raping and murdering a

15-year-old girl and was linked to the Virginia slayings through DNA evidence.

California officials agreed to send him to Virginia on the rationale that it

was more likely to carry out the execution.

He has been connected to as many as six other killings in California and

Virginia, authorities have said, but he was never prosecuted because he had

already been sentenced to death.

Prieto is the first inmate to be executed in in Virginia in nearly three

years. The last execution took place in January 2013, when Robert Gleason was

put to death in the state’s electric chair, which inmates can choose over lethal

injection. Gleason had been serving a life in prison for a 2007 murder when he

killed his cellmate in 2009.

Virginia’s lethal injection protocol calls for the use of pentobarbital, a

sedative, at the beginning of the execution. That is followed by rocuronium

bromide, which halts an inmate’s breathing, and potassium chloride, which stops

the heart.

Prieto’s attorneys filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to halt the execution

until Virginia officials disclose more information about the supply of

pentobarbital, which Virginia received from Texas because another sedative it

planned to use expired.

Among other things, his attorneys sought to force the state to disclose the

name of the compounding pharmacy, which Texas is allowed by law to keep secret.

His attorneys said they were concerned about the quality of the drugs and

whether they would bring Prieto “gratuitous and unnecessary pain.”

Prieto had also asked the US supreme court to intervene, saying he was

intellectually disabled, and therefore ineligible for the death penalty. But the

high court declined to grant his requests to stay the execution on Thursday.

His attorneys argued that the state should reconsider whether Prieto was

intellectually disabled because the measure used during his 2008 trial was

unconstitutional. The supreme court ruled last year that Florida could not use

rigid cutoffs on IQ test scores to determine whether someone was intellectually

disabled. Virginia had a nearly identical law.
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