The U.S. state parliament voted on Monday to abolish the death penalty, a huge turning point in the history of the state in which most convicts were executed among U.S. states.
The draft is just Ralph Northam a Democratic governor must sign in order to become law, but he has indicated before that he will. Thus, Virginia will be the 23rd U.S. state out of 50 that no longer has the death penalty, writes MTI.
Legislation to abolish the death penalty has been passed by the Democratic Party in state legislation, which has had a majority in both houses for the second year in a row. The Democrats argued mainly that the punishment had been imposed disproportionately more times on those of color, the mentally ill, and the poor. Republican parties, on the other hand, have argued that this will not be able to bring justice to victims and their families in all cases, and that there are cruel crimes that deserve the death penalty.
According to the U.S. Death Penalty Information Center, nearly 1,400 death sentences have been imposed and executed in Virginia since its colonial era.
At the moment, two men are on death row in the state, their death sentences will be commuted to life imprisonment, and they will never be released.
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