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Va. bill that would expand death penalty passes

A key Senate committee has passed bills allowing the death penalty for those who kill fire marshals and auxiliary police officers.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 9-6 on both bills Monday.

The committee is often seen as the last roadblock to death penalty expansion bills. The bills, which already have passed the House, head to the full Senate for a vote this week.

Supporters argue both groups are uniformed officers who represent the commonwealth, often putting their lives at risk. Opponents argue Virginia should not continue expanding the list of crimes that can qualify for the death penalty.

Virginia executes more prisoners than any state other than Texas.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  March 8, 2010; 12:14 PM ET
Categories:  Death Penalty , Virginia  
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