Electric chair, execution materials donated to Virginia Museum of History and Culture
Northam says the action ‘closes the era of state-sponsored execution in Virginia’
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - On Friday, outgoing Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia’s electric chair and other execution materials are now owned by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, since the state no longer puts inmates to death.
“This action closes the era of state-sponsored execution in Virginia,” said Governor Northam in a release. “The Commonwealth asked the Museum to accept these items, as they have the curatorial expertise to appropriately manage and interpret such materials. The Commonwealth’s history of using capital punishment is an important part of history, and the Museum is focused on telling Virginia’s full and true story for future generations.”
Back in March of 2021, Northam signed the bill ending the death penalty, making Virginia the first state in the south to do so.
The oak chair donated was used to execute 267 people - first in Richmond back in 1908 and later at Greensville Correctional. The medical gurney used for lethal injections was donated as well. To see the full list of materials donated to the museum, click here.
Before Northam abolished the death penalty, the commonwealth executed nearly 1,400 people since its days as a colony. It was used for the last time to kill William Morva, a Midlothian-born man sentenced to death after killing a hospital security guard and police officer.
Learn about the events surrounding the killings and his sentencing in NBC12′s history podcast How We Got Here:
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