CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

ACLU of Virginia sues Department of Corrections over earned sentence credits

BY: - August 16, 2022

The ACLU of Virginia is suing the director of the Virginia Department of Corrections and a state prison warden to try to force the release of an inmate, arguing the agency incorrectly blocked him from being let out early for good behavior in response to a last-minute change in the state budget that rolled back […]

U.S. attorney general says DOJ asked for public release of search warrant for Trump estate

BY: - August 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice has moved to release the search warrant a federal judge issued earlier this week that allowed federal agents to enter former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. DOJ, Garland said, filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida […]

Potential overdoses, death at privately run Lawrenceville prison spur state investigation

BY: - August 10, 2022

The Virginia Department of Corrections is investigating a rash of potential overdoses and a death at the privately run Lawrenceville Correctional Center in Brunswick County.  Christopher Ferreira, a spokesperson for The GEO Group, the prison operator, confirmed Wednesday that one inmate died Aug. 6 after prison staff “observed several inmates who appeared to be lethargic […]

Statewide police conduct standards will soon be enforceable almost two years after law passed

BY: - August 8, 2022

From 1999 to Feb. 2021, just 81 law enforcement officers lost their ability to work in Virginia because of unacceptable conduct on the job.  Since then, numbers have surged. Between March 2021 and Aug. 5 of this year, 103 Virginia police officers have been decertified, largely as a result of a law passed in 2020 […]

COMMENTARY

Dogwood Dell: a massacre foiled or a tale too good to be true?

BY: - August 8, 2022

If you don’t live near Richmond and get your news from its regional media market, the last time you probably heard of a place called Dogwood Dell was a little over a month ago when Virginia’s capital city made national news for boldly claiming to have foiled a mass shooting. The claim by Richmond’s police […]

Court ruling on suicidal man’s trip to ER broadens Virginia’s overdose amnesty law

BY: - August 4, 2022

Virginia’s Court of Appeals overturned a drug conviction for a man who told police he was trying to go to a Richmond-area emergency room in 2020 to get help after smoking crack and feeling suicidal, a ruling that widens the state’s medical amnesty law for drug and alcohol overdoses. That law is meant to give […]

U.S. House passes ban on assault weapons after spate of gun violence

BY: - August 1, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a ban on semi-automatic firearms — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote. With the 217-213 vote, the bill, H.R. 1808, will head to the evenly divided Senate, but it’s unlikely to advance there, as it would need all […]

‘Defund the police’ slogan and anti-cop violence debated at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - July 27, 2022

Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and law enforcement witnesses at a Tuesday hearing blamed recent violence against officers on anti-police rhetoric, while Democrats distanced themselves from the “defund the police” slogan and said an oversupply of guns made law enforcement jobs more dangerous. Republicans on the panel raised complaints about general attitudes toward […]

Tyson asks U.S. Supreme Court to shield it from COVID-19 lawsuits in Iowa courts

BY: - July 26, 2022

Faced with court rulings that say a Trump administration directive doesn’t protect Tyson Foods from liability caused by workers’ deaths due to COVID-19, the food giant is now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the matter. Arguing that recent court rulings against the company will have “drastic consequences for the next national […]

Virginia’s program to reduce police mental health transports isn’t working

BY: - July 25, 2022

Since 2019, Virginia has spent millions of dollars rolling out an alternative transportation program intended to reduce the role of law enforcement in driving patients to state mental hospitals and other psychiatric facilities. Under a contract with the state, the security company Allied Universal is tasked with building capacity to eventually transport 50 percent of […]

COMMENTARY

While the Supreme Court creates confusion over climate regulations, Virginia can still do its part

BY: - July 21, 2022

I’m shocked at what the Supreme Court has been doing recently. The court overturned the State of New York’s right to restrict who can carry concealed, loaded guns in public and then struck down women’s constitutional right to abortion. On June 30, they limited the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions—when the world needs […]

COMMENTARY

Religious liberty has a long and messy history in America

BY: - July 20, 2022

By James Hudnut-Beumler and James P. Byrd, Vanderbilt Divinity School At the close of its recent term the Supreme Court ruled on the cases of Carson v. Makin and Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, rekindling controversy over one of the most enduring issues in American history: religious liberty. Another of this term’s blockbuster decisions, Dobbs v. […]