A Brazilian Seventh-Day Pastor called Samuel Ramos claims in this sermon that Virginia and Connecticut have had the death penalty for those who work on Sundays since 1610:

[5:30] Porém, existem 2 Estados Americanos, que são Virginia e Connecticut.
Estes estados possuem pena de morte para aqueles que trabalham aos domingos.
Isto é interessante pois eu morava no Estado de Virginia onde existia a pena de morte para aqueles que trabalhavam aos domingos.
Depois eu fui transferido para Connecticut que é o outro estado que possui pena de morte para aqueles que trabalham aos domingos.

[06:00] Então você deve estar se perguntando: Existe realmente alguém que tenha sido morto por trabalhar aos domingos?
A resposta é Não.
Porque estas leis, por exemplo a lei da Virgina, foi aprovada em 1610. Esta lei existe, porém não está sendo aplicada.
Porém a lei existe.
A lei está guardada.
E no momento certo esta lei será aplicada.

Which roughly translates to:

[5:30] However, I would like to speak about 2 American States, which are Virginia and Connecticut.
These states have the death penalty for those who work on Sundays.
This is interesting because I lived in the state of Virginia where there was the death penalty for those who worked on Sundays.
Then I was transferred to Connecticut, which is another death row state for those who work on Sundays.

[06:00] So you must be wondering: Is there really someone who has been killed for working on Sundays?
The answer is NO.
Because these laws, for example the Virginia law, were passed in 1610.
This law exists, but it is not being enforced.
But the law exists.
The law is kept.
And at the right time this law will be applied.

The same claim is also repeated in a brazilian documentary called "Leis Dominicais no Brasil. (Documentário Integral). Blue Law - Brazil" but Youtube has muted the audio part for some unknow reason and I can't find the original video

How much of this claim is trustable?


1 Answer 1


It is true that the death penalty was available to punish people who worked on Sunday in Connecticut and Virginia.

In Connecticut (specifically the New Haven Colony, not the entire state), according to Yale Law Journal vol. 7 (October 1897), as of 1656 the law read:

Whosoever shall profane the Lord's day, or any part of it, either by sinful servile work, or by unlawful sport, recreation, or otherwise, whether wilfully or in a careless neglect, shall be duly punished by fine, imprisonment, or corporally...But if the court upon examination, by clear and satisfying evidence, find that the sin was proudly, presumptiously, and with a high hand committed against the known command and authority of the blessed God, such person therein despising and reproaching the Lord, shall be put to death, that all others may fear and shun such provoking rebellious courses

For more information about Connecticut, see The true-blue laws of Connecticut and New Haven and the false blue-laws invented by the Rev. Samuel Peters (1876).

The Virginia law, from 1610, didn't mention work specifically, but said that upon the third offense of not attending church service both morning and afternoon on the Sabbath, the punishment was "to suffer death".

In Virginia we still have some prohibitions on hunting on Sunday, but the other blue laws have been repealed. See the 1988 article END OF ERA VA. BLUE LAWS OVERTURNED which says:

Yesterday's decision erases a law that survived from 1610 to 1960 with few changes


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