CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

A dental hygienist who says she was fired by the Virginia Department of Corrections after a body scanner detected she was wearing a tampon can proceed with a sex discrimination lawsuit against the state, a federal judge ruled this week.The employee, Joyce Flores, alleged she was interrogated for hours...
Virginia lawmakers gave final passage to legislation abolishing the death penalty Monday, sending the bill to Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he'll sign it.Northam's signature would make Virginia the first state in the South and the 23rd in the nation to end capital punishment. "This legislation says a lot...
Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler, D-Virginia Beach, decided there was a problem that needed fixing after hearing what was happening to her fellow real estate agents, whose work requires publicizing a cell phone number.Because the state already has a law against indecent exposure, she thought, there should be an equivalent ban...
Democrats in the House and Senate have been at odds for more than a year over dueling proposals to allow people convicted of certain crimes to have their criminal records sealed.On Wednesday, lawmakers in the two chambers announced they’d finally resolved their differences.“We’ve come to a strong compromise that...
Virginia has a law on the books that requires the state Department of Social Services to seek child support payments from parents of juvenile offenders in custody, ostensibly to help cover the costs of housing and educating incarcerated youth.It only brings in about $300,000 to $400,000 per year, a...
Virginia State Capitol
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...
Just last week, the General Assembly passed a bill to end the death penalty in Virginia. It’s a historic proposal. Capital punishment has been a fixture in the commonwealth for its entire history. Yet despite that length of time, few Virginians have actually been involved in an execution. It’s something...
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 voted Friday to legalize marijuana, agreeing in principle to legislation that would allow retail sales to begin in 2024 and expunge many past convictions.“Our commonwealth’s prohibition on cannabis has clearly failed,” said Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, who sponsored the bill in the Senate with Sen. Louise Lucas,...
The Virginia House of Delegates voted 57-41 Friday to abolish the death penalty.The Senate passed identical legislation on Wednesday.Gov. Ralph Northam has not only said he’ll sign it, but has championed the issue.Which is all to say, Virginia is very close to finalizing legislation that would make the state...