Bill to abolish the death penalty in Virginia passes Senate Judiciary Committee


RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A bill that would abolish the death penalty in Virginia is a step closer to a vote on the Virginia Senate floor.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-4 in favor of Northern Virginia state Sen. Scott Surovell’s SB 1165.

Republican Bill Stanley (20th District) sided with Democrats on the committee. It will now move to the Senate’s finance committee.

Democratic leadership, including Gov. Ralph Northam, are in favor of ending the death penalty in Virginia. Northam and gubernatorial candidate Del. Lee Carter (D) are also introducing their own legislation to end capital executions.

“The first execution the U.S. occurred in Virginia in 1608. Since then, almost 1,400 people have been executed in Virginia – more than any other state,” Northam said in a statement last week.

The push to end the death penalty comes after the Trump administration executed 13 people in its final days. Before the first of those 13, the U.S. had gone 17 years without a federal execution.

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