The law will not come into effect until 1 July, 2021.
After Texas, Virginia has executed more people than any other US state, with the Associated Press reporting 113 since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The state has killed nearly 1,400 people since it’s days as a colony.
However, more than half of the 50 states in America still carry the death penalty, with Oregon, Pennsylvania and California having governor-imposed moratoriums on capital punishment, meaning they effectively still have the law.
According to the Death Penalty Information Centre, as it stands these are the states that still have the death penalty outright:
- South Dakota
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
These are the states that have completely banned the death penalty:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
The discussion around the death penalty has been brought into sharp focus following the Trump administration. During his four years in the White House, Donald Trump ordered the executions of 13 prisoners, more than any other president in history.