Entries tagged with “Governor Ralph Northam

Facts & Research

History of the Death Penalty

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Nov 07, 2022

Closing the Slaughterhouse: The Inside Story of Death Penalty Abolition in Virginia

Virginia made his­to­ry in 2021 when it became the first Southern state to abol­ish the death penal­ty. Closing the Slaughterhouse: The Inside Story of Death Penalty Abolition in Virginia tells the sto­ry of the commonwealth’s jour­ney from lead­ing exe­cu­tion­er to ground­break­ing abo­li­tion­ist state. Written by jour­nal­ist, author, and anti-death penal­ty advo­cate Dale Brumfield, the book explores Virginia’s his­to­ry sur­round­ing cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, start­ing with the first exe­cu­tion in 1608 through its abo­li­tion on July 12021.

Policy Issues

Race

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Jan 21, 2021

New Podcast: Martinsville 7’ Advocates Seek Posthumous Pardon for 7 Black Men Executed by Virginia After All-White Jury Convicted Them of Raping a White Woman

In February 1951, Virginia exe­cut­ed sev­en Black men on charges they had raped a white woman two years ear­li­er. The Martinsville 7” — Francis DeSales Grayson, Frank Hairston Jr., Howard Hairston, James Luther Hairston, Joe Henry Hampton, Booker T. Millner, and John Clabon Taylor — were inter­ro­gat­ed by police with­out the appoint­ment of legal coun­sel and, under threats that they would be released to a lynch mob, con­fessed to involve­ment in the rape. After a suc­ces­sion of per­func­to­ry tri­als before all-white, all-male juries, each was con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to death.…

Facts & Research

History of the Death Penalty

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Recent Legislative Activity

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Mar 24, 2021

Virginia Becomes 23rd State and the First in the South to Abolish the Death Penalty

Saying “[t]here is no place today for the death penal­ty in this com­mon­wealth, in the South, or in this nation,” Governor Ralph Northam (pic­tured) signed his­toric leg­is­la­tion mak­ing Virginia the 23rd U.S. state and the first in the South to abol­ish cap­i­tal punishment.

Facts & Research

Recent Legislative Activity

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Feb 24, 2021

Virginia Death Penalty Repeal Bill Gains Final Legislative Approval, Moves to Governor’s Desk

Death-penal­ty repeal leg­is­la­tion in Virginia will move to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk, after both hous­es approved the bill passed ear­li­er in the ses­sion in the oppo­site cham­ber. Virginia’s leg­isla­tive rules required the House of Delegates to pass the Senate bill or vice ver­sa, even though the bill text was iden­ti­cal. Governor Northam has pledged to sign the bill, which will make Virginia the 23rd state, and the first in the South, to abol­ish cap­i­tal punishment.

Facts & Research

History of the Death Penalty

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Public Opinion

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Recent Legislative Activity

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Feb 05, 2021

Virginia Legislature Votes to Abolish the Death Penalty

With two his­toric votes, the Virginia General Assembly has moved the com­mon­wealth to the cusp of becom­ing the first Southern state to abol­ish cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, approv­ing sep­a­rate bills that would end the state’s death penal­ty and resen­tence the two men on death row to life with­out parole. On February 3, 2021, the Virginia State Senate vot­ed along par­ty lines, 21 – 17, in favor of abol­ish­ing cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. Two days lat­er, three Republicans joined all but one Democrat in the Virginia House of Delegates in a 57 – 41 vote to repeal the death…

Facts & Research

Recent Legislative Activity

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Feb 04, 2021

Virginia Senate Passes Bill to Abolish the Death Penalty

The Virginia Senate moved the com­mon­wealth one step clos­er to becom­ing the first Southern state to abol­ish cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, vot­ing 21 – 17 on February 3, 2021 to approve a bill that would end the state’s death penal­ty and resen­tence the two men on death row to life with­out parole.