Saying he felt morally correct but not necessarily politically correct, Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Monday vetoed five bills that would expand the death penalty. Kaine is opposed to the death penalty but pledged, when running for governor, not to scale back capital punishment laws. He said he vetoed the proposals because they would have increased the number of people who would be put to death by the state, reports the Virginian-Pilot.
Two bills would have allowed the death penalty for anyone who conspired in a murder. Other bills would have made murdering a judge or a witness in a trial a capital crime. “While the nature of the offenses targeted by this legislation are very serious, I do not believe that further expansion of the death penalty is necessary to protect human life or provide for public safety needs,” he said. The General Assembly meets April 4 to decide whether to accept or override Kaine’s vetoes.