With more executions than any other state; Virginia could soon abolish the death penalty

Death Penalty-Virginia
Posted at 3:02 PM, Jan 27, 2021

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Blacksburg resident, Rachel Sutphin, was nine when she and her twin sister had their father tragically taken from them.

"My father was humorous, he loved playing jokes on colleagues, he was always very loving and wrote little notes he would put in my lunch box at school," said Sutphin.

Corporal Eric Sutphin, with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Virginia, was shot and killed by William Morva in 2006 during a massive manhunt in Blacksburg.

Morva escaped jail and killed a security guard before murdering Sutphin.

"My way to honor his legacy is to continue fighting for life," she said.

Rachel is against the death penalty, that Morva received in 2017, being the last person to be executed in Virginia. She says the penalty is inhumane, as does Delegate Michael Mullin (D) of Newport News.

Mullin recently introduced House Bill 2263, that would abolish the death penalty.

"We would be the first in the south to do so, and considering we have executed more people than any other state in in the union, it is high time we do so," said Mullin.

1,300 inmates have been executed since 1608, and there are currently two inmates on death row at this time.

"My bill would convert all death penalty cases to life in prison without parole," Mullin said.

Governor Ralph Northam is in favor of the bill and an identical bill introduced by Senator Scott Surovell.

For Sutphin, she is glad to see bipartisan support on both bills and hopes it will move through the Senate.

"The death penalty doesn't repay my father's death and it doesn't bring him back, it's just two people dead and two families grieving." she said.