Lawmakers Vote To Make Virginia First Southern State To Abolish Death Penalty
In Virginia, home to the onetime capital of the Confederacy, the death penalty has had a strong connection to the commonwealth’s history of racial injustice. State law used to differentiate capital and noncapital crimes based on the race of the perpetrator and the race of the victim. Once that discrimination was declared unconstitutional, it persisted in practice because of the discretion afforded all-White juries, according to Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.
From 1900 to 1969, he said, Virginia did not execute a single White person for any offense that did not result in death, while 73 Black men were executed for rape, attempted rape or robbery. To read more click here.