:-*One thing,can someone explain why it takes so long between sentencing and the actual date being given,seems such a waste of tax payers money
Welcome from me as well Pegasus.
In answer to your above question; when a person is convicted of a capital offense and given the penalty of death, the offender is afforded an automatic appeal. Thereafter, the case can be appealed at both the state and federal courts which have various/multiple levels of review. Also, the courts tend to have heavy docket loads, so the scheduling of any hearing may not even happen for a year or two depending on the work load of that particular court. Add to that, after a hearing, the court may take months or even years to render a descision. Of course, many of the appeals are frivolous and even ludicrous; but then it is the job of the defense council to keep the case in the courts, and keep the offender out of the death chamber.
Some states - like Virginia, can move along relatively quickly as compared to other states that move at a snails pace - sometimes due to the judges who reside at the various levels and their personal position on the death penalty whereby if they are essentially an "anti", they will tend to drag their feet (or worse)...
And only when ALL state and federal appeals have been exhausted, can an execution date be requested and given. And when and execution date is set, it is usually weeks, or more likely, months out..
Hope this helps.