Virginia abolished the death penalty Wednesday. Governor Ralph Northam signed his state into law 23 without the death penalty.
Virginia had the highest number of executions of all American states; A total of 1,391, and it was the first southern state to stop executing prisoners.
“Today there is no place for the death penalty in this state, in the south, in this country,” Democratic Governor Ralph Northam said at a ceremony at Greensville Prison, where the death penalty has so far been carried out. According to the governor, the abolition was ‘good and fair’.
He cites the case of Earl Washington, a disabled man who was sentenced to death in 1984, and was postponed until nine days before the planned execution. The man was released in 2000.
“This organization has allowed an innocent person to be convicted of murder. If we only knew that Mr. Washington could have been spared the death penalty in Virginia, can we be sure that there are no others?” The governor said.
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