The Virginia electric chair is shown in this 1991 file photo taken in Greensville, Va.
Photo by Bruce Parker/Richmond Times-Dispatch/AP

Virginia pols vote to force prisoners to electric chair

Virginia lawmakers passed a bill Monday that would make the electric chair the state’s method of execution if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

A spokesman for Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, would not say if he plans to sign the bill into law.

RELATED: Florida passes new death penalty law after SCOTUS ruling 

Virginia is one of a number of states that have been unable to obtain execution drugs and have looked for alternatives. Utah has enacted the firing squad as a backup, and Tennessee green-lighted the electric chair.

Virginia’s last execution was in October, the lethal injection of Alfredo Prieto using a drug it obtained from Texas. It has not been able to get more of the drug.

Death-row prisoners in Virginia have been able to opt for the electric chair since 1995, although only seven have. The new bill — which passed Viginia’s house in February and was approved 22-17 by the Senate on Monday — would force inmates to the electric chair if signed into law and upheld by the courts.

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com

Capital Punishment, Death Penalty and Virginia

Virginia pols vote to force prisoners to electric chair