Despite Gleason's crimes and his insistence on being put to death, "the state should not kill its own citizens under any circumstances," said Virginians For Alternatives to the Death Penalty Executive Director Stephen Northup. Northrup said Gleason's threats to continue killing should not be enough to justify his execution.
"Our Department of Corrections has the ability to keep someone who is truly dangerous like Mr. Gleason in solitary confinement with no access to another human being," Northrup said. "...We have the ability to keep everyone else safe from truly dangerous people without killing them."
The group will host vigils across the state and expects a handful of protesters outside the prison during the execution.
Use of the electric chair remains rare in Virginia. Since inmates were given the option in 1995, only six of the 85 executed since then have chosen electrocution over lethal injection.