The Richmond Times Dispatch has, "Hargrove to try again to end Va. executions."
Frank D. Hargrove Sr., at 80 the oldest and one of the most conservative of Virginia's 100 state delegates, will again -- and perhaps for the last time -- try to stop executions here.
"I'm coming, probably, to the end of my active legislative career," says Hargrove, R-Hanover. "I'd like to leave the General Assembly with a momentum toward the abolishment of the death penalty."
Hargrove, who once advocated the return of public hanging, has been the unlikely sponsor seven times of legislation to end capital punishment in Virginia. His bills have never made it out of subcommittee.
He hopes the eighth time will be a charm, though even many death-penalty opponents doubt it. Virginia is second only to Texas in the number of killers, 98, put to death in modern times.
Hargrove, however, points to the current hiatus on executions -- the U.S. Supreme Court has been staying them until it rules on the constitutionality of lethal-injection methods next year -- and hopes his next attempt in the upcoming session will be different.
This time, he says, he wants to educate his legislative colleagues on what he says is the futility and uselessness of the death penalty and get more of them thinking about it.
Del. Robert B. Bell, R-Albemarle, a fellow Republican conservative, has agreed to disagree with Hargrove on the issue.
"I think the chances of success are modest as they have been in the past. It's an important issue . . . and we try and give Frank and the other advocates a fair shake every year this issue come up," Bell said.