GREENSVILLE COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Wednesday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed Senate Bill 1165, sponsored by Senator Scott Surovell, and House Bill 2263, sponsored by Delegate Mike Mullin, to abolish the death penalty. The Commonwealth is now the first state in the south and the 23rd state to ban capital punishment.
Northam signed the repeal at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia after taking a tour of the execution room, where 102 people have been executed since 1991.
Northam said he can now see how the death penalty is fundamentally flawed, pointing to how the system “doesn’t always get it right.”
“When I was young, I believed in an eye for an eye. But as I matured, my mind changed and when I ran for office, I committed to work on ending the death penalty in Virginia,” said Gov. Northam.
According to the Governor’s office, Virginia has executed over 1,300 people in its history, more than any other state.
The two Virginia prisoners who are currently on death row are now sentenced to life in prison without parole.