The Virginia state Senate and House of Delegates both passed each other’s identical pieces of legislation on Monday that will put a halt to the use of the death penalty in Virginia. This is the final legislative step in the process with the bill becoming law when Governor Ralph Northam signs it.
“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,” Governor Ralph Northam, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said in a joint statement after final passage in both chambers. “Over Virginia’s long history, this Commonwealth has executed more people than any other state. And, like many other states, Virginia has come too close to executing an innocent person. It’s time we stop this machinery of death. “Thanks to the vote of lawmakers in both chambers, Virginia will join 22 other states that have ended use of the death penalty. This is an important step forward in ensuring that our criminal justice system is fair and equitable to all.”
Senator Scott Surovell (D) sponsored the legislation in the Senate and Delegate Mike Mullin (D) sponsored the legislation in the House.
Abolition of the Death Penalty is on the Governor's Desk. Thank you to everyone who has worked towards this moment. Virginia can start to lead the world again on human rights and justice pic.twitter.com/2h5o1716hc— Senator Scott Surovell (@ssurovell) February 22, 2021
Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have voted to abolish the death penalty! We are the first state in the South to get rid of capital punishment! pic.twitter.com/usmpO7fNr1— Delegate Mike Mullin (@mikemullin4VA) February 22, 2021
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