Virginia death penalty: Vriginia lawmakers passed two bills on Monday to end the death penalty. This makes the maximum punishment life in prison with no parole. The Virginia state legislature is Democrat controlled. Many Republicans support the death penalty because certain crimes are so “henious” that they warrant execution. Governor Ralph Northam is expected to pass the bill. If signed, the bill will go into effect in July.
Significance: Virginia will become the first former Confederate state to abolish the death penalty. They commited 1,4000 executions since the early days as a colony. After the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 by the Supreme Court, Virginia had 113 executions. This number is topped only by Texas.
Mandalay protests: On Saturday, security forces in the Myanmar city of Mandalay opened fire on a group of protesters. It killed two and injured dozens. Protesters, consisting of ship workers and other citizens on strike, engaged in a multiple hour standoff with police, which resulted in protesters facing tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and four live rounds of bullets.
Significance: The people of Myanmar are protesting the military coup that took power Feb. 1. The protests have mainly been peaceful until this past weekend. On Thursday, Facebook announced the removal of all Myanmar military and military controlled pages off of the social media platform as well as Instagram. They said the risk is “too great” to keep the country’s military pages following the coup and following violence.