21 January 2019 :
Senate passes bill to bar death penalty for seriously mentally ill. The same bill was tabled last year to be studied by the Virginia State Crime Commission. But the commission didn’t address it, and the legislation sponsored by Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, now heads to the House of Delegates after passing the Senate 23-17. Favola and supporters said Senate Bill 1137 would close a gap in state law to protect someone with severe mental illness from capital punishment. Republicans who opposed the bill said jurors already hear evidence of substantial mental illness and make decisions on whether someone convicted of a capital offense meets the criteria for the death penalty.