RICHMOND, Va. — Legislation to expand the death penalty in Virginia is up for a key vote at the General Assembly.

The Republican-backed bill would redefine the so-called triggerman rule, which in most cases restricts the death penalty to the person who does the actual killing. The bill would allow the death penalty for accomplices who share the intent to kill.

Del. Todd Gilbert’s bill is on the docket for Wednesday afternoon’s Senate Courts of Justice Committee meeting.

Two weeks ago, the Senate’s own version of the bill died in the courts committee on a 7-7 party line vote, with one Republican abstaining because he accepts court appointments to represent capital murder defendants. The same vote on the House bill would doom the triggerman revision for the fifth consecutive year.

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