Virginia Air-Conditions Death Chamber

United Press International

The Corrections Department is air-conditioning the state penitentiary's death chamber to make it "more comfortable for everybody," it was reported Saturday.

The project to air-condition the electrocution death chamber and the execution holding cells began about a week ago and is almost finished, although no deadline was set for completion, a newspaper reported.

"It's just a matter of having it ready when we need to use it," Dwight Perry, operations officer at the penitentiary, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He called it a routine "matter of taking care of business."

Until now, convicts, lawyers, guards, clergymen and others involved in the executions have sweltered because the basement prison section, for security reasons, does not have windows.

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