CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

Corrine Fizer/ Capital News Service In response in part to the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, Virginia will have a new law on July 1 requiring priests, ministers, rabbis and other clergy members to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. Gov. Ralph Northam has signed into...
Legislation passed by the General Assembly this year will require the Department of Corrections to provide an annual report on its use of solitary confinement, which is facing growing scrutiny around the country.Lawmakers and advocates called it an important first step to understanding a practice that, confusingly, the state...
From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary.Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring is asking a judge to dismiss an indecent exposure charge against a woman who was arrested outside the Capitol last month while protesting in...
By Daniel Berti/ Capital News Service  When someone is charged with a crime, prosecutors and judges want to make sure the defendant shows up for court. So they usually require the person to put up cash bail — money the defendants forfeit if they skip town. But now, many officials — from local...
A woman arrested Monday after exposing her breast in front of the Capitol will be released Thursday following three nights in jail, according to her defense attorney.Richmond District Court Judge Lawrence Cann III had ordered Michelle Sutherland, a 45-year-old resident of of Brooklyn, N.Y., held without bond until her...
On Tuesday night, a Richmond-based activist group called Antifa Seven Hills began alleging a Capitol Police sergeant showed an "affinity with white nationalist groups" in his social media postings.On Wednesday morning, the Capitol Police sent out a press release saying the officer, Robert Stamm, has been placed on paid...
By Katja Timm/ Capital News ServiceTeary-eyed parents and supporters of legislation to curb distracted driving filled a small room at the Capitol, some wearing neon yellow traffic vests in solidarity as they offered emotional testimony.Others held framed pictures of loved ones who died in distracted driving crashes. The press...
A House subcommittee took up two bills Tuesday that would expand access to benefits for those with past drug convictions, voting one down and allowing another to squeeze by with a major amendment.One piece of legislation, proposed by Del. Alfonso Lopez, D-Arlington, would have lifted the federally-imposed ban on...
Republican lawmakers shot down a bill Thursday challenging a program that pays Virginia prison inmates about 80 cents an hour to manufacture furniture for state offices, including at the Capitol and General Assembly Building.Del. Emily Brewer, R-Smithfield, said she had toured those inmate-staffed factories and said the workers, incarcerated...
Republicans in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have voted down the full suite of gun control measures endorsed by Gov. Ralph Northam, including a “red flag” law backed by President Donald Trump’s administration.The law, which is a recommendation of Trump’s post-Parkland school safety commission, would allow police...