Virginia, the state that has executed more people than any other in the nation, has abolished the death penalty. Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill into law on Wednesday, a month it was passed in the state’s Democrat majority House and Senate.
“It is the moral thing to do,” he said during the press briefing, echoing Democrat party policy. “The death penalty is fundamentally flawed.” Virginia becomes the first former Confederate state to get rid of capital punishment.
“This is a major change because our Commonwealth has a long history with capital punishment. Over our 400-year history, Virginia has executed more than 1,300 people, more than any other state for 200 years,” Northam said.
Virginia executed 113 people in the years after the U.S. Supreme Court restored states’ rights to enact capital punishment in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). In the last five decades, only Texas has executed more people than Virginia.