Virginia governor signs legislation ending death penalty

Virginia governor signs legislation ending death penalty
Governor Northam signing the bill abolishing the death penalty in Virginia. (Source: WWBT)

JARRATT, Va. (AP) - Virginia has become the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam signed the historic legislation on Wednesday.

Virginia’s new Democratic majority won a years long battle last month when both the Senate and House of Delegates approved bills to end capital punishment.

The state has had the second-highest number of executions in the United States. Virginia has put to death nearly 1,400 people since its days as a colony.

In modern times, the state is second only to Texas in the number of executions it has carried out, with 113 since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

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