Virginia Must Prevent Wrongful Executions

February 2, 2021

Earl Washington Jr. came within eight days of being executed in Virginia for a crime he didn’t commit. He spent 16 years on death row before being exonerated. He was just 22 years old, with an IQ of 69 (equivalent to a 9- or 10-year-old), when he was ripped from his home and his family and sentenced to die. Eventually, DNA testing would lead to his exoneration, but not before robbing him of a decade and a half of his life — a life that was nearly extinguished altogether. His story, as shocking as it is, is unfortunately not that unusual.


Two Virginia Prosecutors Renounce State’s ‘Death Machine’

January 25, 2021

We are Commonwealth’s Attorneys, criminal prosecutors who have sworn an oath to do justice for the people of Virginia. Our sacred trust is to keep people safe, to do justice for all, and to ensure that the people who commit crimes receive fair and just punishment.

We are responsible for reflecting the values of our community and for recognizing the self-evident truth that all people, from the most righteous to the most depraved, are our brothers and sisters.


Gov. Northam will introduce bill to end death penalty in Virginia

January 13, 2021

Gov. Ralph Northam will be introducing a bill to abolish the death penalty that, if successful, would make Virginia the first Southern state to end capital punishment.

“I understand about timing and I suspect this is the year to end the death penalty in Virginia,” Northam told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Tuesday.

“I’ve felt strongly about this for a long time,” the governor said. “We’ve been doing so much good work on equity, especially criminal justice reform, and we have the majority in the House and the Senate.”