Virginia Becomes First Southern State To Abolish the Death Penalty

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Virginia has made history this week by becoming the first-ever southern state to abolish the death penalty…

And quite predictably, many U.S citizens who have been protesting the death penalty for decades are overjoyed about it.

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Here’s the full story…

Now, the death penalty has been a part of our country’s justice system for centuries…

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And the penalty, which is often referred to as capital punishment, has been in action since approximately 1608… yep, it’s really that old.

Although it is a legal penalty in twenty-seven states, only twenty states have the ability to execute death sentences…

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And as the years have gone on, it’s become more and more of a controversial and taboo subject.

Just under half of the U.S states have now abolished the death penalty for a number of reasons…

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Including the risk factors of executing an innocent person, the fact it doesn’t prevent future crimes, and the fact that it is both discriminatory and can be used politically, as per Amnesty.

Organizations such as Amnesty have been fighting for decades to have the death penalty abolished entirely…

And they have been trying to expose and hold to account governments that continue to use the punishment.

This is perhaps what lead to a very big decision to be made in the White House recently.

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President Biden has reportedly been planning to scrap the upcoming executions of all fifty-two prisoners being held on death row by the U.S Government.

As you will all know, Biden is the first U.S president to openly oppose the death penalty…

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While, alternatively, a total of thirteen executions were carried out at Donald Trump’s behest during his final year in office.

Campaigners argued that many of those executed over the last year were killed despite suffering from serious mental and physical illnesses…

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Which should have rendered the death penalty an unconstitutional punishment.

But, in order to have the death penalty permanently scrapped from federal government statute books…

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Biden is going to have to push a bill through Congress that would require support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Quite the challenge, we know.

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But, nevertheless, the president is confident in what the future holds.

So much so…

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That history has just been made by Virginia being the first-ever southern state to abolish the death penalty.

People are overjoyed by the news, to say the least…

And many are even calling for the abolishment to be nationwide.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed the abolition bill into law on Wednesday after it was passed by the Democrat-controlled state legislature.

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“Virginia’s history, we have much to be proud of, but not the history of capital punishment,” Northam said, speaking from the Greensville Correctional Center which has housed the state’s death chamber.
“Like many people, 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.”

Virginia, now the twenty-third state to abolish the death penalty, has executed more people than any other state in the U.S…

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And the first execution in the present-day U.S took place in 1608 in the Jamestown colony.
Since then, Virginia has executed more than 1,300 people and has killed 113 people since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, only behind Texas in the number of modern-era executions.

“The system was 9 days from executing an innocent man,” Northam then said.

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“The lesson here is that the system did not work. The system allowed an innocent man to be convicted of murder. We can’t sentence people to that ultimate punishment knowing that the system doesn’t work the same for everyone.”

This is most certainly the step in the right direction…

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And we hope that other states will soon follow suit.
For more on the government and the latest on what’s been going on, carry on reading…