Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to Sign Legislation Abolishing the Death Penalty

Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal Tuesday, May 27, 2008 in Houston. (Pat Lopez/AP Photo)
Pat Lopez/AP Photo

Democrat Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is slated to sign historic legislation Wednesday that would abolish the death penalty in the state.

Northam is scheduled to tour the execution chamber at the Greensville Correction Center before signing the bill into law, the Associated Press reported.

The legislation is a dramatic turn for a state with a history of executing more people than in any other state.

Virginia has executed nearly 1,400 people since its founding as a colony. In the modern era, the state carried out 113 executions, the second-most amount of executions in the country since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

Texas is the only state to have carried out more executions since 1976.

Last month, Virginia’s Democrat-controlled House and Senate passed bills to end the death penalty. After Northam signs this legislation, Virginia will be the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty.

While Virginia is on its way to abolishing the death penalty, South Carolina is seeking to resume the death penalty after ten years.

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