West Virginia - Abolishment of the Death Penalty

House Bill 517

On Mar. 18m 1965, West Virginia became the last state pre-Furman to abolish the death penalty.

"In 1965, West Virginia abolished capital punishment. On February 12 of that year, the house passed house bill 517, a bill substituting life without the possibility of parole for capital punishment... The bill was passed and forwarded to the West Virginia senate with no floor debate... [After revisions to the bill] Governor Smith signed the bill abolishing the death penalty on March 18, 1965." 

Source: John F. Galliher, Larry W. Koch, David Patrick Keys, and Teresa J. Guess, without the Death Penalty: States Leading the Way, 2002