The Rev. Duane Hardy, pastor of Seven Pines Baptist Church in Sandston, leads a prayer during a vigil Jan. 22 near the site of the former Virginia State Penitentiary in Richmond seeking the abolition of the death penalty in the commonwealth. It was one of several vigils held around the state last week calling for the elimination of the death penalty.
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Advocates see ending the death penalty as step toward addressing inequity
Virginia is on track to become the first Southern state to abolish the death penalty.