RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would abolish the death penalty.
If passed into law, the measure would mark a major policy change for a state that has historically carried out numerous executions.
The Democrat-controlled chamber approved the bill on a 21-17 vote Wednesday. It came after a lengthy, emotional floor debate. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has said he supports a full repeal, and a House version of the bill is advancing in that chamber.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Virginia has executed nearly 1,400 people in more than four centuries, more than any other state.