United States: Virginia becomes the first southern state to abolish the death penalty

This is a symbolic decision since the state of Virginia has the record of executions in American history.

It is a symbolic decision that was taken Wednesday, March 24 in the state of Virginia. This state of the former segregationist South, which has the record of executions in American history , becomes the first to abolish the death penalty.

“Today there is no place for the death penalty in this state, in the South and in this country, ” Democratic Governor Ralph Northam said at the signing ceremony for the law, which took place. took place at Greensville Prison, where executions had previously taken place. The abolition of the death penalty  is “the right thing and the moral thing to do,” added the governor of Virginia. 

“You cannot inflict this ultimate punishment without being 100% sure that you are right and you cannot inflict this ultimate punishment on someone knowing that the system does not work the same for everyone. “, pleaded the prosecutor, pointing out that 296 of the 377 prisoners executed in the XXth century were African-Americans.

1,391 convicts were executed in Virginia

Ralph Northam pointed to Virginia’s “long and complicated” history where ” the racism and discrimination of our past is repeated today in our justice system.”
After very tense debates, the two State Chambers voted earlier this year in favor of a law to abolish the death penalty.

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