Virginia set to abolish death penalty

by Jordyn Pair · Feb 23rd, 2021 12:23 pm

Last Updated Feb 23rd, 2021 at 9:52 pm

Virginia lawmakers have passed legislation that would abolish the death penalty. The bill now goes to Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he will sign into law.

If signed, Virginia would become the first southern state and 23rd state nationwide to get rid of the death penalty.

"It is vital that our criminal justice system operates fairly and punishes people equitably. We all know the death penalty doesn't do that. It is inequitable, ineffective, and inhumane," Northam, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said in a joint statement Monday.

Virginia has executed a higher percentage of its death row inmates than any other state, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Just two men are currently on the state's death row.

"It's time we stop this machinery of death," the legislators said.


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