VIRGINIA (USA). GENERAL ASSEMBLY TURNS BACK 3 DEATH-PENALTY VETOES
April 4, 2007: The General Assembly turned back Gov. Tim Kaine's vetoes of three bills that expand the crimes eligible for the death penalty but sustained vetoes of two bills that would make certain accomplices eligible for capital punishment.
The Senate and House of Delegates voted to override Kaine's vetoes of bills that make the premeditated murders of judges and court witnesses capital crimes. Kaine, who opposes the death penalty, maintains that the measures are not needed to enhance public safety.
The Senate sustained Kaine's vetoes of two bills (SB 1288 and HB 2348) that would eliminate the so-called "triggerman rule" and make certain accessories to capital murder eligible for the death penalty.
But the Senate fell two votes short of the 27 votes needed to override the governor's veto on a Senate version of the triggerman bill and three votes short on a House-sponsored measure. The House easily assembled sufficient majorities to override all of Kaine's death-penalty vetoes.
Both houses rejected Kaine's vetoes of bills to make the death penalty possible for defendants who murder judges or witnesses because of their roles in court proceedings. The bills will become law over Kaine's objections. (Sources: Roanoke.com, 04/04/2007)