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General Assembly approves McAuliffe’s execution amendments

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The General Assembly has approved Gov. Terry McAuliffe amendments to the so-called electric chair bill.

The Senate passed the amendments by a vote of 22-18.

During a second vote Wednesday afternoon, the House of Delegates green-lighted the amendments by 59-40.

Earlier in the afternoon, the House voted 51-47 to reject the amendments. But lawmakers cited "confusion" and then took up the vote again.

That bill, which passed the House and the Senate earlier this year, made the electric chair the default method of execution in Virginia if the state ever ran out of lethal injection drugs.

The governor instead offered amendments that would allow the state to secretly obtain those drugs from pharmaceutical companies.

McAauliffe had promised to veto the electric chair bill if the lawmakers did not accept his amendments, which he had said would effectively end the death penalty in Virginia.

The governor is now likely to sign the bill into law.