Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine Tuesday issued a stay of all executions in the state until the US Supreme Court rules in Baze v. Rees (07-5439), a case challenging the constitutionality of using lethal injection as a method of execution. Kaine's announcement came ahead of the scheduled April 8 execution of Virginia inmate Edward Nathaniel Bell, who was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the murder of a police officer.
The Court heard oral arguments in Baze on January 7 and a decision is expected before the Court adjourns in June. Since the Court accepted the Baze case in September, courts have stayed executions in several states, including Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.