This week, the Virginia General Assembly passed HB 2263, which abolishes the death penalty. Virginia is the first southern state and 23rd state in the nation to end the death penalty. Since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court re-established the death penalty, Virginia has executed 113 individuals, making it one of the highest executing states in the country. One of the main arguments used by proponents for abolition was that the death penalty was a relic of the Jim Crow era. Lawmakers cited documented evidence of Black defendants facing disparate treatment in capital cases. The bill now goes to Governor Northam, who has committed to signing it.
February 15, 2021 - 8:22am