History of the death penalty in Virginia:It is the typical conservative position to endorse the death penalty, but I'm not so sure. With numbers like these it makes the issue not quite so clear-cut.
- Virginia introduced the death penalty to the "New World" by hanging George Kendall in the early 1600's
- Virginia has carried out over 1,300 executions in its history, more than any other state.
- Virginia has executed more women and the youngest children of any state in the nation.
- Between October of 1908 and March of 1962, Virginia used the electric chair to execute 236 people. 201 of those were black males, 34 were white males; one, Virginia Christian, was a 17-year-old black female. During that period, the youngest, Percy Ellis, was executed at the age of 16.
- In February of 1951, Virginia executed 8 men in a 72-hour period. All 8 men were black and 7 were executed for the rape of one white woman. These seven were known as the Martinsville Seven.
- Virginia's single year record for executions is 17 in 1909.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Virginia and the Death Penalty
Streak had an interesting post today on the usage of the death penalty and comparing the United States' usage to that of Iran. He contends that Iran and the US are practically synonymous in their usage of it. In the comment thread, I became interested in my state's death penalty history. I was shocked to discover how horrific that history is.