CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

It was a big day for Virginians prone to bouts of cussing and spitting.A House of Delegates committee advanced legislation repealing the crimes of swearing and “expectorating” in public to a vote before the full chamber.Both are currently Class 4 misdemeanors punishable by a fine of not more than...
It was an offhand question, for sure. But during an early morning briefing by the Virginia Department of Corrections, Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, recalled eating the food served to inmates at Red Onion State Prison during a site visit to the Southwestern Virginia supermax facility several years ago.How much,...
Despite the presence of numerous armed men who were covering their faces, the only person arrested near Monday's pro-gun rally was a 21-year-old Richmond woman who police said refused repeated instructions to take a bandanna off her face.Police said Mikaela E. Beschler was arrested around 1:30 p.m. in the...
Opponents of new gun laws in Virginia are organizing militias in the state, but promise they’re not planning to use the new paramilitary organizations to launch a violent insurrection against the government.“We’re just a group of like-minded individuals trying to protect our rights,” said a man standing in the...
Gov. Ralph Northam is throwing his weight behind legislation to reduce the penalty for simple marijuana possession in Virginia from a jailable criminal offense to a $50 civil fine — part of a criminal justice reform platform his administration called the boldest in the state’s history.“Studies show that these...
ROANOKE — Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Carlton and Danville Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Newman spoke quietly but intensely at the prosecution table.The two of them were part of a team tasked with prosecuting a federal trial that stemmed from gang activity in Danville. A critical error from Newman’s office had...
It was Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III who really got the airplane metaphors flying as he talked about how the federal courts should handle the Trump International Hotel.Letting a legally unprecedented lawsuit seeking to rein in President Donald Trump's business dealings proceed, Wilkinson said in a Richmond courtroom Thursday,...
The Virginia Supreme Court sided with administrators at George Mason University in a closely-watched lawsuit challenging whether private fundraising foundations established by public universities can keep donor records secret.The justices wrote in an opinion issued Thursday that private foundations, no matter how closely intertwined with the university they serve,...
Two Virginia lawmakers have filed legislation to recast the Virginia State Crime Commission as a more reform-minded body that would be known as the “Virginia Justice Commission.”“For too long, the Crime Commission has been focused on outdated and unproven strategies such as mandatory minimum sentences, over-felonizing behavior, and failing...
Virginia lawmakers who attended a cannabis summit convened by Attorney General Mark Herring on Wednesday called it remarkable that such an event was even taking place on Capitol Square.“This is an extraordinary day,” said Del. Steve Heretick, D-Portsmouth, a founding member of the newly formed Cannabis Caucus. “I for...