CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

A dozen people were killed and at least four more were injured at Virginia Beach's public works building  Friday afternoon by a longtime employee armed with a handgun equipped with a sound suppressor, The Virginian-Pilot and other news outlets reported.Police have not named the gunman, who carried several extended...
Police in the Big Apple use every technique at their disposal – including DNA – to solve horrendous crimes in the nation’s largest city.Even when New York’s cops play fast-and-loose with the constitutional rights of residents. Even when they conduct large “fishing expeditions” that lead to legitimate allegations of...
Around the same time that Gov. Ralph Northam dedicated the month of May to conversations about criminal justice reform, he vetoed a bill that would have required minimum sentencing for people charged with domestic violence crimes for the second time.Dels. Kathleen Murphy, D-Fairfax, and Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, co-sponsored a bill...
Call it a classic case of the grass always being greener.Growing up in Miami, surrounded by beaches and palm trees — even lucky enough every so often to see an escapee from the nearby Parrot Jungle at our bird feeder or roosting in our ficus tree — I dreamed...
Someone arrested the day before Thanksgiving could be looking at a five-night stay in jail before getting a chance to go before a local judge for a bail hearing, and Supreme Court of Virginia Chief Justice Donald Lemons says that delay has never felt right to him.“It seems to...
When someone in Virginia has a mental health crisis and a magistrate issues a temporary detention order to involuntarily hold them for treatment, law enforcement must take them to an available hospital bed.So the patient is put in the back of a police vehicle, often handcuffed even though the...
Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have made it a felony homicide to sell, distribute, manufacture or gift drugs that cause a fatal overdose.The legislation was condemned by some groups who argued it would penalize those struggling with addiction for giving or selling drugs to...
Every year Virginia lawmakers introduce bills to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Every year, they fail despite overwhelming public support.Now, a handful of locally elected prosecutors are taking up the issue, announcing that they will no longer prosecute most simple possession cases.Not all local judges, however, are...
Many residents whose driving privileges will be restored later this year under legislation passed by the General Assembly won’t have to do anything to start driving legally again.As long as they still have their physical license and it isn’t expired, they’re good to get behind the wheel as soon...
The best way Jordan Siebert knows to describe it is simple: chaos.The 39-year-old Richmond woman has battled drug use on-and-off since she was an adolescent and she’s seen overdoses. She’s seen strangers carry an unconscious woman from a room. She’s been the subject of those emergency calls for help.“There’s...