73ºF

Gov. McAuliffe will not stop execution of Ricky Gray

RICHMOND (WSLS 10) - Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued a statement on Tuesday saying he will not intervene in the execution of Ricky Gray.

"After a thorough review of the petition for clemency submitted by Ricky Gray and the various letters submitted by other parties, I have decided not to intervene in this case. Mr. Gray was convicted in a fair and impartial trial, and a jury sentenced him to death in accordance with Virginia law. Federal and state appellate courts have extensively reviewed his case and denied his requested relief. Unless a court intervenes, the Department of Corrections will carry out the execution in accordance with the order of the sentencing court."

"It is the Governor's responsibility to ensure that the laws of the Commonwealth are properly carried out unless circumstances merit a stay or commutation of the sentence. After extensive review and deliberation, I have found no such circumstances. I will continue to pray for all of the individuals and families affected by these tragic and horrible crimes."

Gray was convicted of killing Bryan and Kathryn Harvey and their young daughters at their Richmond home on New Year's Day 2006.

The ACLU-VA says it's disappointed by the governor's decision as Virginia Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastañaga released this statement:

"The ACLU of Virginia is saddened and disappointed that Gov. McAuliffe has chosen to allow the Department of Corrections to execute a human being. Execution is a cruel and, increasingly unusual, punishment and is never the correct response to any crime, no matter how abhorrent. Rather than continue to find ways to ensure that government can implement a death sentence, including authorizing the concoction and use in secret of new and untested drugs, we urge Gov. McAuliffe to join us and become a champion for full repeal of Virginia's death penalty statute."

The execution is scheduled for January 18.