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Virginia House OKs electric chair as backup in executions

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Republican-dominated House of Delegates has approved a bill that would allow prison officials to execute inmates in the electric chair if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

The bill sailed through the House with a 62-33 vote Wednesday. Its real test will be in the GOP-controlled Senate, where a similar bill stalled two years ago.

Supporters have been using the impending execution of a convicted murderer to make their case for the electric chair.

The state says it doesn't have enough pentobarbital to carry out the execution.

Companies have blocked the use of their drugs in executions, forcing many states to consider other methods. Virginia is one of at least eight states that allow electrocutions, but it currently gives inmates the choice of lethal injection or the electric chair.

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