RICHMOND — A bill to abolish the death penalty in Virginia won final approval in the state Senate on Mondayand will be sent to Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is expected to sign it.
Virginia — historically one of the nation’s most prolific death-penalty states — would then become the first in the South to abandon the ultimate punishment.
The state Senate approved by a vote of 22-16 a House bill that bans executions and establishes a maximum punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole. A judge would have discretion to suspend part of that sentence — a sticking point for some Republicans, who pushed unsuccessfully to make life without parole a mandatory minimum.
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