CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

A Senate bill aims to re-introduce transparency to Virginia's execution process, declassifying the sources of lethal injection drugs and ensuring that the names of facilities are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Virginia will extend parole eligibility to people convicted of felonies they committed when they were under the age of 18, prompting convicted sniper Lee Boyd Malvo to drop a resentencing request that had been pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill is the second to be signed into law...
Until this year, if prison inmates in Virginia needed to see a nurse or a doctor for anything other than an emergency, the state charged them a $5 copay — a modest amount in the context of ballooning health care costs nationwide but a huge sum behind bars, where...
Legislation to repeal arcane bans on cussing (in public) and fornicating (in private, among consenting adults) cleared the General Assembly on Wednesday and will head to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk for review. But the Senate voted down a third measure to repeal a ban on spitting in public places following...
Even though they can’t vote if they’ve been convicted of a felony, Virginia prisoners are still counted as residents of the place where they’re locked up for the purposes of the U.S. Census. That creates a tricky question with the way Virginia redraws its political districts every 10 years. For...
A felony charge brought against a young Richmond woman who wore a mask near the heavily attended pro-gun rally at the Capitol has been dismissed, according to the woman's lawyer. Mikaela Beschler had been charged with violating the state's anti-mask law after police said she failed to heed warnings to...
Virginia Democrats have made no secret that they planned to use their new majorities to decriminalize marijuana this year. (To the extent that there’s been a debate, it’s been focused on whether the state should skip straight to outright legalization.) Less certain was how many members of the GOP, whose...
A Senate panel voted this week to delay consideration of a bill abolishing the death penalty until next year. In the House, similar legislation never got a vote because a late fiscal impact estimate put a $72,630 price tag on the proposal. That cost analysis, prepared by the Virginia Criminal...
When is a drunken-driving arrest not really a drunken-driving arrest? When a Virginia legislator is behind the wheel — and the General Assembly happens to be in session. Del. Chris Hurst, D-Montgomery, knows all about it.  A traffic stop involving the delegate has shed some light on a little-known section in...
The General Assembly shut down proposals to legalize marijuana for the year, but lawmakers said this week they would study the issue and potentially move forward when they reconvene in 2021. Both the House and the Senate are instead advancing decriminalization bills that would punish possession of a half-ounce or...