CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

Virginia House approves bill to boost transparency when judges get punished

BY: - January 27, 2023

A proposal to make more information public when Virginia judges violate ethics rules passed the House of Delegates Friday on a bipartisan vote. Currently, almost all records of the state’s Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission (JIRC) are kept strictly confidential unless they involve a proven breach serious enough to rise to the Supreme Court of […]

As Republicans tout Parole Board report, some Democrats see ‘a whole lot of nothing’

BY: - January 26, 2023

The top Republican in the Virginia House of Delegates said Thursday that the GOP is considering “every possibility” in response to a new investigative report alleging systemic violations of law and state policy at the Virginia Parole Board under the watch of a former leader who’s now a sitting judge. But House Speaker Todd Gilbert, […]

AG says former Va. Parole Board chair broke the law in 2020 release ‘frenzy’

BY: - January 25, 2023

A former chair of the Virginia Parole Board broke numerous laws and policies during a “parole-granting frenzy” in early 2020 and could have been “charged criminally” if those in power at the time had taken her alleged misconduct seriously, according to Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares. At a news conference in Richmond Wednesday announcing the […]

COMMENTARY

The strange case of the pastor, the prosecutor, the police chief and the legislator

BY: - January 25, 2023

Mixing politics, law enforcement and religion is a difficult high-wire act under the best of circumstances. Add in a sex sting operation and you’re toeing the wire over the Grand Canyon without a net or safety harness in the middle of a blizzard. Chesterfield County’s commonwealth’s attorney, Stacey Davenport, should know that. A lurid, real-life […]

Virginia Senate committee advances bill toughening gun storage laws

BY: - January 23, 2023

After a classroom shooting allegedly committed by a Virginia 6-year-old, Democrats in the state Senate are advancing a bill that would require adults to keep guns locked up if minors are in the home. Violations of the proposed law, which would require gun dealers to post notices at their stores informing customers about the consequences […]

COMMENTARY

Reluctant, distrustful witnesses are key to solving homicides

BY: - January 23, 2023

Kelvin Wright, the recently retired police chief of Chesapeake, remains bewildered by the slaying of Daevon Shaquille Miller outside a restaurant-nightclub several years ago. Scores of people witnessed a murder and stayed quiet – except for posting photos of the crime on the internet.  “Well over 100 people were there,” Wright told me this week, […]

COMMENTARY

Behind bars: Virginia jails price gouging

BY: - January 23, 2023

From The Virginia Mercury: Del. Irene Shin last week introduced a bill to limit the price markups and fees charged to inmates and their families for goods and services purchased behind bars.

Push to limit prison and jail fees hits early obstacle in Virginia House

BY: - January 19, 2023

At an early-morning committee meeting Thursday, Virginia Del. Irene Shin, D-Loudoun, pulled out packages of Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids and Hot Tamales and put them in a pile on the podium in front of her. “Are you trying to bribe us?” a committee member asked jokingly. “Totally,” Shin said. “Is it working?” […]

Democrats again push to defelonize assaults on cops for people undergoing a mental health crisis 

BY: - January 19, 2023

Renewed efforts are underway by Democrats to halt arrests of individuals who are accused of assaulting a police officer if they are in the midst of a mental health crisis. A new bill filed last week by Del. Jeff Bourne, D-Richmond, would end the practice of arresting and prosecuting an individual for assaulting a law […]

Youngkin’s parole board chair calls for ‘over-the-top’ transparency

BY: - January 9, 2023

A former Southwest Virginia judge appointed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin to lead the Virginia Parole Board released a detailed report this month calling for a major overhaul of a state body he said has suffered from a lack of resources and too much secrecy. In a 28-page report to the governor, Parole Board Chairman Chadwick […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia abolished biased, inefficient, botched executions; more states should follow suit

BY: - January 4, 2023

By Dale Brumfield On Dec. 13, just as horrifying images from Iran emerged showing condemned protestors hanged publicly on street-corner construction cranes, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown followed Virginia’s lead and commuted the death sentences of 17 inmates to life imprisonment and dismantled that state’s death chamber. It is gratifying to see another state break away […]

COMMENTARY

A murderous pedophile got a badge and gun in Virginia. How was that possible?

BY: - December 19, 2022

A Virginia man drove the width of the United States, kidnapped a 15-year-old girl, shot her mother and grandparents dead in cold blood, torched their home and then killed himself in a shootout with California police. The gun he used came with the badge he wore back in Virginia. So many questions. And to date, […]