Virginia Senate Approves Ending Death Penalty

RICHMOND, Va.: Today, Sen. Surovell’s SB 1165, passed the Virginia Senate on a 21-17 vote.

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw and Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “Today is a historic day for our Commonwealth. Senate Democrats have led the charge for years to end a practice that for far too long has been unjustly applied to persons of color and has led to the execution of people later found innocent. We are glad to see progress by abolishing the death penalty, and are DETERMINED to continue the march toward fairness and equity.

“Our Republican colleagues in the Senate have argued whataboutism, tried to carve out exceptions, and dodged the issue for too long; trying to have it both ways when it comes to matters of life and death isn’t fair to Virginians. Senate Democrats have made a bold step, bringing Virginia into the 21st century and beginning to restore true justice and faith in our government.

Senator Scott Surovell said: “The death penalty is immoral, unjust, and cruel. Its use puts Virginia on the same level as nations like Saudi Arabia and organizations like ISIS. Its abolition passing the Senate today is the culmination of a lot of hard-fought battles, and I look forward to the death penalty ending in Virginia once and for all this year.”

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