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The Virginia State Capitol. Virginia legislators on Friday voted to abolish the state's death penalty. Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Virginia's House of Delegates on Friday passed legislation that abolished the death penalty in the state in a 57-41 vote.

Why it matters: Virginia is now the first southern state to ban executions.

  • The state Senate passed legislation to abolish it earlier this week.

What they're saying: "The repeal of capital punishment in Virginia takes our Commonwealth out of the business of determining life and death and ends a practice that a majority of Virginians oppose," House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D) said after the vote, per The Washington Post.

What to watch: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is expected to sign the bill.

  • It's "important that we shut down the machinery of death here in Virginia," Northam said.

Between the lines: President Biden campaigned on abolishing the federal death penalty, but has taken no action since his inauguration.

  • Several members of Congress have urged Biden to "prioritize abolishing the death penalty," CNN writes.
  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked in January about the president's pledge to end the practice, but she said that there were no updates on "future actions or mechanisms."

Go deeper

Virginia Senate votes to abolish the death penalty

The Virginia state capitol in Richmond. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Virginia Senate on Wednesday voted 21-17 along party lines to pass a bill that would abolish the death penalty.

Why it matters: The bill, which the Virginia House and Gov. Ralph Northam (D) are expected to approve, marks a major policy shift. Virginia leads the country in the number of executions it has carried out, executing roughly 1,400 people over the past four centuries, per the Death Penalty Information Center.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.