FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Delegate Jones Leads Fight to Abolish Death Penalty, Despite History of Longtime Opposition by Attorney General
The Virginia House of Delegates today voted to abolish the death penalty, a measure chief co-patroned by Delegate Jay Jones. Upon the passage of the law out of the House, Delegate Jones released the following statement:
“This is a historic moment for Virginia. I’ve said before that I believe deeply in my soul that the death penalty is abhorrent and must be abolished. I’m glad to see that it’s one step closer today. It’s no secret that this practice impacts Black citizens more than any other group, and it’s a necessary reform to our justice system.”
Despite broad support for the abolition of the death penalty, AG Mark Herring has been an opponent of it for the majority of his political career. He has voted at least 16 times to expand or protect it. On multiple occasions Mark Herring has spoken out in support of the death penalty, supported executions using secret drugs, and has even taken multiple actions to keep executions shrouded in secrecy. Herring even called a court ruling that he claimed would eliminate death row in Virginia “monumentally wrong.”
“Mark Herring has not only been against the abolition of the death penalty time and time again, but he has actively voted for and worked to keep the institution in place,” added Delegate Jay Jones. “Just saying that you now support a measure when it becomes politically popular isn’t leadership. I’m happy that the death penalty is going to soon be abolished, but there’s a reason why Virginia is so late to the game, and part of that reason is AG Mark Herring.”
Delegate Jay Jones currently represents the 89th State House District and is a candidate for Attorney General. In the state house Delegate Jones has made real and equitable justice reform a top mission.