Virginia law requires that a person be found guilty of a crime before the state’s death penalty is imposed.
But many of those sentenced to death in Virginia have been sentenced to life without parole and are eligible for parole, but have not yet been executed.
Virginia law requires a person convicted of a murder to be found not guilty by reason of insanity or to have been found not criminally responsible.
That requirement is a key to what happens when someone is sentenced to die.
In some cases, a prosecutor has asked for a death sentence.
If you or anyone you know needs help in Virginia, call 800-872-2422.
For more information about the death penalty in Virginia and to learn how you can help, call the ACLU of Virginia toll-free at 1-800-8-AV-CRIME or visit their website at https://www.acluva.org/virginia-death-penalty.
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VIRGINIA’S LAW REVIEW Virginia law allows a judge to impose a death penalty upon a defendant who is mentally ill.
But it is difficult for judges to find a person who has been found incompetent.
It is not clear if the mentally ill people who have been executed in Virginia since the law took effect in 1997 are eligible to be tried as persons with mental illness.
In some cases the prosecutor has requested a death trial.
The state is reviewing that request, which it did in 2016.
The Virginia Court of Appeals issued an opinion in August that said the state should review whether the mentally competent person seeking a death-penal trial has been diagnosed as a mental defective.
As of May 20, Virginia had executed 14 people since 1997.