“This is an important step forward in ensuring that the criminal justice system is fair and equal to all,” Nortem, Speaker of the House of Representatives Ailina Filere-Korn and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslov, said in a joint statement on Monday.
With this decision, Virginia has joined 22 states that have already abolished the death penalty.
“In Virginia’s long history, the Commonwealth has executed more people than other states,” officials said in a statement.
“It’s time to stop this death machine.” The death penalty is not a fair and effective instrument of the criminal justice system, they added.
Since 1976, 113 people have been executed in Virginia, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The number of executions in the United States is declining. Public opinion on this issue is changing, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain the substances needed for lethal injection.
The death penalty is usually followed by long and costly court proceedings.
In 2020, five states and the federal government executed 17 people.
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