CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

Virginia Democrats meet in private to choose finalists for eight Court of Appeals appointments

BY: - August 4, 2021

Democrats in the Virginia House and Senate met privately Wednesday to choose finalists for eight open positions on the Virginia Court of Appeals, prompting GOP lawmakers to accuse the party of breaking tradition by holding secret group interviews. “I can’t think of a single instance in which we’ve had a judicial candidate come and appear […]

Virginia Department of Corrections announces plans to de-privatize prison health care

BY: - July 26, 2021

After struggling for decades with rising health care costs and complaints about shoddy medical care, the Virginia Department of Corrections plans to end its contract with the private medical provider that serves about half of the state’s prisons. In a letter earlier this month to department staff, Director Harold Clarke wrote that he planned to […]

COMMENTARY

Curbing killings also means changing culture

BY: - July 21, 2021

Anti-violence groups in the commonwealth, spurred on by a national organization started by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, have staked a claim for tens of millions of dollars in federal pandemic and economy-boosting money at the General Assembly’s disposal. The fledgling Virginia Community Violence Coalition has made a smart, critical bid for $37 million of […]

‘Epidemic’ of gun violence prompts call for Virginia to use federal dollars to curb shootings

BY: - July 19, 2021

For years, Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone has been trying to gather data on how firearms flow from gun-store shelves to crime scenes in his city’s high-poverty neighborhoods. Though experts and politicians have floated multiple theories about what’s driving an uptick in violence in Virginia and the rest of the country, Boone says guns are […]

Chuck Schumer: Congress should legalize weed on the federal level

BY: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis. To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled a draft proposal for removing cannabis from the federal […]

COMMENTARY

Don’t be surprised if the GOP tests its anti-crime message in Virginia. But will it work?

BY: - July 12, 2021

One thing is sure watching local TV newscasts anywhere in America: if it bleeds, it leads. The nightly roundup of shootings, fires, sensational car crashes and other calamities has always been a mainstay of local broadcast journalism. And these days, gun deaths take up considerably more airtime. Nationally and in Virginia, numbers of incidents in […]

Five years later, Virginia prison still not meeting terms of court-ordered settlement over shoddy medical care

BY: - July 12, 2021

A new court appointed monitor’s first review of operations at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women suggests the state isn’t close to meeting the terms of a five-year-old legal settlement over poor health care and a spate of inmate deaths . The report, filed earlier this year in a federal court case that’s closing in on […]

Supreme Court of Virginia orders new trial for 70-year-old woman falsely implicated in attempted strawberry theft

BY: - July 9, 2021

The Supreme Court of Virginia says a jury should decide whether a Kroger manager engaged in malicious prosecution when she had shoplifting charges brought against a 70-year-old Staunton woman falsely identified as an attempted strawberry thief. Kroger had argued that it was a simple case of mistaken identity and during a trial last year, the […]

Virginia is among 36 states accusing Google of anti-competitive practices

BY: - July 8, 2021

Virginia is among 36 states suing Google over allegations the tech firm is operating a monopoly with its app store and Google Billing. In the lawsuit, Utah v. Google, the states claim Google paid off competitors and used contracts to create a monopoly for its app store on Android phones and Google Billing. “Google has really become […]

With death penalty repealed, two once-condemned men moved off Virginia’s death row

BY: - July 2, 2021

With the death penalty formally abolished in Virginia as of this week, death row is now officially vacant, according to prison officials. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Kinney said the two remaining prisoners facing death sentences were moved off death row after the legislation was signed earlier this year. For decades, condemned prisoners have been […]

Marijuana is now legal in Virginia. Advocates are already pushing for changes to the law.

BY: - July 1, 2021

As of today, marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older to possess, consume and grow in Virginia. But unless a doctor has signed off on a prescription, there’s no legal way to buy it. Lawmakers have set a 2024 target to begin retail sales to recreational users, a runway the legislation’s authors say is […]

Supreme Court hands victory to transgender rights by declining to hear Virginia school bathroom case

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a case of a transgender student in Virginia who was barred from using the boys’ bathroom, a decision that affirms lower-court rulings that said treating transgender students differently violates federal law. Justices on the top court offered no comment in declining to take […]