Northam to Sign Death Penalty Repeal Bill

February 22, 2021 by TWN Staff
Virginia State Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, front, looks at the vote tally board during a vote on a death penalty abolition bill at the Senate session at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Va., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. The Senate passed the bill 22-16. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia lawmakers gave final approval Monday to a bill that will end capital punishment in the Commonwealth.

The legislation now heads to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he will sign it into law, making Virginia the 23rd state to stop executions.

In a joint statement, Northam, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, said: “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.

“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.”

Virginia’s Democratic majority, in control of the General Assembly for a second year, pushed the repeal effort, arguing that the death penalty has been applied disproportionately to people of color, the mentally ill and the indigent.
Republicans in the chamber raised concerns about justice for victims and their family members, and said there are some crimes that are so heinous that the perpetrators deserve to be executed.

Both the House and Senate approved separate repeal bills earlier this month.

On Monday morning, the Senate approved the House bill, advancing it to Northam on a 22-16 vote. Republican Sen. Jill Vogel joined with Democrats in the chamber in voting for passage. Later, on Monday afternoon, the House voted 57-43 to approve the Senate version, which is identical to the House bill.

In The News

Health

Voting

In The States

League of Woman Voters Seek Redistricting Deadline Extension in Michigan
In The States
League of Woman Voters Seek Redistricting Deadline Extension in Michigan
June 13, 2021
by Dan McCue

The League of Women Voters of Michigan filed an amicus brief with the state's Supreme Court this week in support of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission's proposed extended timeline for adopting final redistricting plans. The commission was formed after a 2018 public referendum in which... Read More

Kansas Receives Gold Shovel Award
Economy
Kansas Receives Gold Shovel Award
June 11, 2021
by Brock Blasdell

The state of Kansas has been awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award in recognition of its successful year attracting high-value business investment. Over $6 billion in new business dollars and more than 26 thousand jobs have been created within the state of Kansas since... Read More

Public-Private Partnerships, Accurate Maps Should Drive US Broadband Deployment
Technology
Public-Private Partnerships, Accurate Maps Should Drive US Broadband Deployment
June 10, 2021
by Victoria Turner

In South Carolina, the state government is matching broadband service providers dollar-for-dollar if they build out networks to the identified unserved areas, said Andrew Rein, chief financial officer of telecommunications provider Hargray, Wednesday. And the need for accurately mapping these areas without access to high-speed broadband... Read More

Ciattarelli and McAuliffe Winners in Gubernatorial Primaries
In The States
Ciattarelli and McAuliffe Winners in Gubernatorial Primaries
June 9, 2021
by Brock Blasdell

Jack Ciattarelli, a moderate Republican from New Jersey, and Terry McAuliffe, an establishment Democrat from Virginia, both had strong victories in last night's gubernatorial primaries against their respective party’s political competition. Now in the last stretch of a race to the governor’s office, they face several... Read More

Ohio AG Yost Sues Google
In The States
Ohio AG Yost Sues Google
June 9, 2021
by Victoria Turner

COLUMBUS, Ohio - As Congress continues to grapple with whether high-speed internet should be considered essential infrastructure, as important as water and electricity, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost took an unprecedented step against Alphabet's Google yesterday. In what the AG's office statement describes as a "landmark... Read More

Virginia Teacher Reinstated After Dispute Over Transgender Students
Law
Virginia Teacher Reinstated After Dispute Over Transgender Students
June 8, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

A judge on Tuesday ordered a Leesburg, Va., elementary teacher reinstated in his job after he was suspended for refusing to address transgender and nonbinary students according to their gender preferences. Physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross refused to address transgender and nonbinary girls as “she”... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top