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Governor vetoes bills to expand death penalty

Gov. Tim Kaine has vetoed a handful of bills from this year’s General Assembly session aimed at increasing the scope of Virginia’s death penalty.  In particular, the governor has refused to sign legislation that would modify Virginia’s “triggerman” rule to make accessories and principals in the second degree eligible for the death penalty in certain cases.  Kaine also vetoed bills that would have allowed execution for the murders of fire marshals and auxiliary law enforcement officers.

“Virginia is already second in the nation in the number of executions we carry out,” Kaine said in a news release.  “While the nature of the offenses targeted by this legislation is very serious, I do not believe that further expansion of the death penalty is necessary to protect human life.”

Kaine vetoed legislation designed to ease restrictions on firearms.  One bill would have allowed concealed weapons in restaurants and bars.  Another would have allowed certain service members to buy more than one handgun a month.

Kaine also vetoed a bill to allow police to use a new type of lie detector.

The assembly’s veto override session is April 8.

By Peter Vieth

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