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Virginia to become 1st Southern state to abolish death penalty after lawmakers’ final approval

A death penalty chamber in a prison is seen in this file photo.
CNN
A death penalty chamber in a prison is seen in this file photo.

RICHMOND, Virginia — State lawmakers have given final approval to a bill ending capital punishment in Virginia, making it the first Southern state to do so.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to sign the legislation that lawmakers gave final approval Monday.

It’s a dramatic turnaround for a state that has executed more people in its history than any other state.

Virginia’s new Democratic majority pushed the repeal effort, arguing that the death penalty has been applied disproportionately to people of color, the mentally ill and the indigent.

Republicans raised concerns about justice for victims, and said some perpetrators deserve to be executed for especially heinous crimes.

When signed into law, the legislation would make Virginia the 23rd state overall in the nation to stop executions.

Crime / News / Politics / Top Stories

Associated Press

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