COURTS

Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation ending the death penalty in Virginia this week, an outcome that even some of the most ardent abolitionists once doubted they would see in their lifetime.Behind the scenes, a reform that drew little notice when it came before the legislature almost two decades ago...
A senior investigator in Virginia’s watchdog agency has filed a lawsuit claiming she was wrongfully suspended from her job last week after giving General Assembly leaders documents dealing with her investigation into wrongdoing by the Virginia Parole Board. Jennifer Moschetti, an employee of the Office of the State Inspector General,...
Lawmakers plan to appoint six new judges to the Virginia Court of Appeals later this year as part of a plan to expand the court’s jurisdiction to all civil and criminal cases.The reform will end Virginia’s status as the only state in the country where there is no guaranteed...
Virginia lawmakers sent legislation to Gov. Ralph Northam Friday that for the first time will provide a path to seal past criminal convictions, records lawmakers and advocates say can make it impossible for people to rebuild their lives."Millions of Virginians with criminal histories will gain the ability to potentially...
The General Assembly broke from its staid and often secretive approach to making judicial appointments this week when a hearing to interview candidates devolved into a spectacle that prompted one exasperated senator to let loose a string of expletives.Lawmakers from the House and Senate were interviewing Katie Uston, the...
Lawmakers in Virginia are moving forward with legislation to repeal a slew of mandatory minimum sentences, but the House and Senate are at odds over how far to go.A bill passed by the Senate would scrap mandatory sentences for nearly all crimes on the books. The House, meanwhile, advanced...
Virginia lawmakers are advancing legislation that would allow more defendants in criminal cases to present evidence that they suffer from mental illness or intellectual disabilities.Current state code bars judges and juries from hearing such testimony before the sentencing phase of a trial except in cases in which a defendant...
Members of the Virginia Crime Commission voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to endorse legislation stripping all mandatory minimum sentences from state code.The sweeping proposal, which lawmakers plan to introduce when the General Assembly convenes later this month, would eliminate mandatory jail and prison terms attached to 224 offenses that range from...
A circuit court judge in Fairfax appears to be the first in Virginia to rule that keeping an indigent defendant in jail in lieu of a cash bond is unconstitutional, writing that it violates the Due Process Clause by forcing poor people awaiting trial to remain confined in jail...
WASHINGTON — The fate of the sweeping 2010 health care law known as Obamacare is again in limbo, with the Supreme Court on Tuesday set to hear arguments over whether that statute should be overturned.States are at the heart of the case and nearly every one has made an...