Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: February 22, 2021
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam and Democratic Leaders Issue Joint Statement on Final Passage of Legislation to Abolish Death Penalty in Virginia

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, and Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw jointly issued the following statement today after both houses of the General Assembly passed legislation to ban capital punishment in the Commonwealth. House Bill 2263, sponsored by Delegate Mike Mullin, and Senate Bill 1165, sponsored by Senator Scott Surovell, which are identical bills, now head to Governor Northam’s desk.

“It is vital that our criminal justice system operates fairly and punishes people equitably. We all know the death penalty doesn’t do that. It is inequitable, ineffective, and inhumane.

“Over Virginia’s long history, this Commonwealth has executed more people than any other state. And, like many other states, Virginia has come too close to executing an innocent person. It’s time we stop this machinery of death.

“Thanks to the vote of lawmakers in both chambers, Virginia will join 22 other states that have ended use of the death penalty. This is an important step forward in ensuring that our criminal justice system is fair and equitable to all.”

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