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Sean Perryman Commends Governor Northam for Signing Death Penalty Abolition; Publishes Op-Ed Laying Out Next Steps on Criminal Justice Reform

Mar 24, 2021

RELEASE: March 24th, 2021
Contact: [email protected]

FAIRFAX, VA – Governor Northam signed a bill abolishing the death penalty in Virginia into law on Wednesday. Virginia now joins 22 other states and the District of Columbia in recognizing the cruelty of state-sanctioned murder. This bill was a key priority for Democrats in the General Assembly this year.

“Virginia’s government has no moral authority to take lives,” said candidate for Lt. Governor Sean Perryman. “The death penalty is an archiac, inhumane method of punishment that does nothing to make Virginians safer. I am proud that our state legislature made repealing the death penalty a priority this year and am grateful that Governor Northam signed this bill into law today.”

“The flaws in our criminal justice system run deep,” continued Perryman. “Today’s repeal brings us a step closer to a just rule of law. But there is much more work to be done to shake the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. We need to repeal mandatory sentencing minimums, which restrict judges from using their discretion when determining criminal sentences and perpetuate mass incarceration. We also need to eliminate cash bail, which punishes poor Virginians by keeping them in pre-trial detention where they can lose their jobs, their housing, and even custody of their children while the rich buy their freedom. We must continue to build on Governor Northam’s transformational progress to ensure a just Virginia for everyone.

“I’ve spent my life fighting for criminal justice reforms as a lawyer and activist. I’ve seen how our system perpetuates discrimination against Black and brown Virginians. We need bold leadership to guide Virginia into the 21st century, and that starts with electing officials who understand the issues with our criminal justice system.”

Perryman co-published an op-ed in The Roanoke Times today with Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano calling for an end to both mandatory sentencing minimums and cash bail. Perryman has years of experience fighting for racial equity and criminal justice reform at the local community level, and has been a clear leader on criminal justice reform policy in the race for Lieutenant Governor. The campaign has been endorsed by the Commonwealth’s Attorneys of Fairfax County, Hampton, and Newport News, each citing Perryman’s vision and expertise on issues of criminal justice.

Sean Perryman is President Emeritus of the Fairfax County Chapter of the NAACP, a technology public policy advocate, attorney, and former congressional investigator. If elected he would become one of the youngest Lt. Governors in Virginia history.

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