News – USA – Virginia poised to become first southern state to abolish the death penalty

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State lawmakers on Monday finally passed a bill to end the death penalty in Virginia, a dramatic turnaround for a state that has done more people in its history than anyone else

Legislation to repeal the death penalty now goes to Democratic government Ralph Northam, who has announced that it will legally sign the measure, making Virginia 23rd State that stops executions

“In 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 is time to stop this machinery of death,” said the governor in a joint statement with House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw

The state Senate passed the death penalty abolition bill by 22-16 votes, and the House soon followed suit, preparing Virginia to become the first southern state to abolish the death penalty

“By abolishing the death penalty, Virginia is creating a new legacy for itself,” said Del Mike Mullin, a patron of the house bill. “Never again will the Commonwealth take the risk of executing an innocent person. We should be guided by the principles of justice let go, not of revenge “

A story in the making as the Virginia Senate approves the Death Penalty Act by 22-16 votes When Virginia House follows suit this afternoon, the Commonwealth will be the first southern state to ban the death penalty @ nbcwashington

Virginia’s new Democratic majority has pushed the repeal efforts, arguing that the death penalty has been disproportionately applied to people of color, the mentally ill and the needy Republicans have raised concerns about the justice of victims and their families, saying that there are some crimes that so hideous that the perpetrators deserve to be executed

Both the House and Senate passed separate repeal laws earlier this month. On Monday, the Senate approved the House of Representatives bill and brought it to Northam The House was due to vote on the Senate draft later in the day

Historically, Virginia has used the death penalty more than any other state, and nearly 1 since its colony era400 people executed, according to the Death Penalty Information Center since the US. The Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 Virginia ranks second after Texas with 113 executions

Only Two Men Remaining on Virginia’s Death Row Anthony Juniper Was Sentenced To Death In The 2004 Murders Of His Ex-Girlfriend, Two Of Her Children, And Her Brother Thomas Porter Was Sentenced To Death For Killing A Norfolk Police Officer In 2005 The Repeal Legislation would commute their sentences to life without parole

Democrats advocating abolition said earlier this month that the death penalty is an archaic punishment at a time when many countries have already moved away from the practice and, given the litigation involved, is too costly to implement They also said it was used unfairly, making people of skin color, the insane, and the needy more likely to end up on death row

“The government shouldn’t have a job to kill people It’s immoral, inhuman,” said Democratic Del Said Marcus Simon

Republicans raised concerns about justice for the victims and their families, warning that some killers who would otherwise be on death row could be released on parole

Del Jason Miyares described in vivid, heartbreaking detail the crimes of several men recently executed by the state, arguing that certain crimes were so cruel and depraved that the perpetrators “deserve the ultimate punishment”

“If there is a word to describe what happened to these victims, it is just cruelty, unimaginable cruelty on a scale that is difficult to process,” he said

Virginia’s pace has slowed significantly in recent years, but executions have continued for the past decade under both Republican and Democratic governors.Legislators and state officials have acted in recent years to preserve Virginia’s ability to Carry out executions and reduce the transparency of the process

When the GOP legislators took control of the General Assembly in 2016, they implemented a measure that would have forced inmates to die in an electric chair if no fatal injectable drugs had been found

Dann-Gov Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and Catholic who said he was personally opposed to the death penalty, opposed this bill but tabled an alternate proposal to secretly disclose the identity of pharmacies that supply lethal injection drugs for executions hold

In 2017, prison officials revised their procedures to remove more of the execution process from the public after attorneys raised concerns about how long it took to insert IV lines into the body of convicted killer Ricky Gray for his January execution

Michael Stone, the executive director of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, attributes the dramatic shift to a new focus on racial differences in the criminal justice system.He attributes the Black Lives Matter movement and related protests in response to George’s death Floyd to

last year

“The energy behind this movement and the desire for reform has greatly stimulated our efforts,” said Stone

Virginia, death penalty, Ralph Northam

News – USA – Virginia poised to become first southern state to abolish the death penalty

Source: https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/repeal-of-virginias-death-penalty-headed-to-governors-desk/2582417/