Virginia first southern US state to abolish death penalty

Washington (AFP) – Virginia on Wednesday became the first southern US state to abolish the death penalty. Democratic Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill outlawing capital punishment in the state, saying it was “the moral thing to do.” Virginia is the 23rd US state to abolish the death penalty and the first of the states that made up the Confederacy during the 1861-65 US Civil War to do so. Virginia has carried out more executions — nearly 1,400 — than any other of the 50 US states since its founding as a colony in the early 1600s. Northam signed the bill ending the death penalty at the Gree…

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