The judge, Henry Hudson, said delaying the execution would harm those affected by Prieto’s crimes, a harm “magnified here by the appalling number of people that Prieto has killed, raped, or otherwise injured”.
Virginia has executed a convicted serial who claimed he was intellectually disabled.
The 49-year-old had fought to prove that he’s intellectually disabled to bar the state from putting him to death.
Prieto was convicted in 2010 of the 1988 murders of Rachel Faver and her boyfriend, Warren Fulton, in Fairfax County, a Washington suburb.
“The lawsuit argues that use of the purported pentobarbital imposes an exceptional and entirely unnecessary risk of a cruel and painful execution”, Prieto’s lawyers said in a news release before his execution on Thursday.
UPDATE: 10/1/2015 8:45 p.m.
Due to an issue regarding the supplier of the drugs intended for Prieto’s execution, Federal Judge Anthony Trenga placed a temporary hold on the execution.
UPDATE: 10/1/2015 6:16 p.m. As reported by The Christian Science Monitor, his lawyers had made an appeal to the state of Virginia to spare his life.
Virginia officials say there are no problems with the drugs, which they obtained from Texas’s prison system.
However, it was not immediately clear if the execution would take place Thursday night, with Prieto’s lawyers saying they were appealing Hudson’s decision with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly also taking their drug concerns to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had earlier in the day declined to grant a stay based on Prieto’s claims that he was intellectually disabled.
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.
A federal judge has scheduled a hearing to consider a Virginia inmate’s challenge to his execution hours before he is set to be put to death.
He was then on death column in California for the 1990 assault and murder of a 15-year-old young lady, who was kidnapped alongside two other young ladies in Ontario.
“It is time for this to end”, Margaret O’Shea, a lawyer from Attorney General Mark Herring’s office, said Thursday. Prieto’s attorneys also want tests confirming the drug’s sterility and potency and documents showing that the drugs were properly handled, transported and stored.
According to Lee, Virginia “executed a man without knowing whether he has intellectual disability or not, using drugs that are far beyond their approved date of use”.
Alfredo Preito became the first inmate to be executed in Virginia in nearly three years on Thursday.