New drugs cocktail used in execution

A Virginia man who raped and suffocated an 88-year-old widow has become the state's first inmate executed using a revised, three-drug cocktail.

Jerry Terrell Jackson, 30, was pronounced dead at 9.14pm local time on Thursday at Greensville Correctional Centre. Jackson was sentenced to death for the 2001 rape and murder of Ruth Phillips in her apartment in Williamsburg.

Virginia recently replaced sodium thiopental with pentobarbital after a nationwide shortage of the sedative that is administered before two other drugs that stop the inmate's breathing and heart. Lawyers in some states have contested its use.