That time Virginia was more progressive than Nevada

By: - February 3, 2021 3:34 pm

Virginia is for state senators who are against the death penalty. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Virginia is for lovers state officeholders who are against the death penalty. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

From our friends at the Mercury, our States Newsroom sibling publication in Virginia:

Lawmakers in the Virginia Senate voted Wednesday to abolish the death penalty, setting the state on a course to become the first in the South to end capital punishment.

“Ask yourselves what other countries are still doing this,” said Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, who sponsored the bill. “There’s not a single other Western industrialized nation that’s doing it. The country that’s leading the world as far as we know in executions is China. Next in line comes Iran. After that is Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, then the USA.”

Legislation to abolish the death penalty in Nevada failed to even get a committee hearing in the Democratically controlled Legislature in 2019.

The Nevada Legislature, still Democratically controlled, reconvened for its 2021 session earlier this week. State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannazzaro, whose full-time job is as a prosecutor in the Clark County District Attorney’s office, was repeatedly non-committal while answering a question about death penalty repeal legislation during a recent virtual panel conducted by the Nevada Independent.

Meanwhile, the Mercury reports that the death penalty repeal is expected to pass Virginia’s House of Delegates (the lower house), and Gov. Ralph Northam has endorsed the legislation.

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