Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Criminal Justice – Virginia state abolishes the death penalty


The death penalty is abolished in the US state of Virginia. Both houses of the state parliament voted for the abolition, leaving only the signature of Governor Ralph Northam missing. His approval is considered certain.

“This is an important step forward to ensure that our criminal justice system is fair and equitable,” said Northam on Monday in a joint statement with House Chairwoman Eileen Filler-Corn and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw. In the United States, 22 of the 50 states have so far abolished the death penalty.

“In Virginia’s long history, this state has executed more people than any other state,” the statement said. “It’s time we put an end to this machinery of death.” The death penalty is not a fair and effective instrument of criminal justice, it said. Since 1976, there have been 113 executions in the state, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Overall, the death penalty is on the decline in the United States. In many places this has to do with changing public opinion, but also with increasing difficulties in obtaining the necessary substances for lethal injection. In addition, the death penalty tends to lead to lengthy – and costly – litigation.

17 executions in 2020

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a total of 17 people were executed by five states and the federal government in the United States in 2020. The federal government had not carried out the death penalty for almost two decades. However, the administration of ex-President Donald Trump pushed through its reintroduction. New President Joe Biden opposes the death penalty. (apa, dpa)





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