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Virginia advocates set to try again on death penalty repeal

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2010 file photo prison guards stand outside the entrance to the Greensville Correctional Center, where executions are carried out,  in Jarratt, Va.  Death penalty opponents are cautiously optimistic they have enough bipartisan support from lawmakers to pass a bill in 2021 ending executions in Virginia. Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell is again sponsoring a bill that would abolish the death penalty, and he has a Republican chief co-patron.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2010 file photo prison guards stand outside the entrance to the Greensville Correctional Center, where executions are carried out, in Jarratt, Va. Death penalty opponents are cautiously optimistic they have enough bipartisan support from lawmakers to pass a bill in 2021 ending executions in Virginia. Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell is again sponsoring a bill that would abolish the death penalty, and he has a Republican chief co-patron. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) (The Associated Press)

RICHMOND, Va. – Death penalty opponents are cautiously optimistic they have enough bipartisan support from lawmakers to pass a bill next year ending executions in Virginia.

Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell is again sponsoring a bill that would abolish the death penalty, and he has a Republican chief co-patron.

The measure would commute the sentences of the only two inmates on Virginia’s death row to life in prison without parole.

With Democrats holding slim majorities in both the House and Senate for a second year Surovell thinks there’s an opening. So do a coalition of advocacy and faith groups working to build support for the measure.


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