CRIMINAL JUSTICE + POLICING

Poll: Support for legal marijuana spikes in Virginia

BY: - September 30, 2019

The number of Virginians who support legalized recreational marijuana spiked over the past two years to 61 percent, according to a poll conducted earlier this month by the University of Mary Washington. The last time the school asked voters for their views on legal recreational pot (in September 2017) only 39 percent were in favor. […]

Most public defenders in Richmond make less than a secretary in the prosecutor’s office. They want a raise

BY: - September 30, 2019

Lawyers in Richmond’s public defender’s office, in the midst of a campaign to increase their salaries, say they’re paid so much less than the prosecutors they face in court that it raises questions about whether low-income defendants are getting a fair shake at justice. “If you’re going to fund one side of the courtroom, then […]

COMMENTARY

Amid creeping carnage, one Virginia police chief keeps spotlight on black men as crime victims – and suspects

BY: - September 5, 2019

Chief Larry Boone has taken to begging. As young black men continue to wield guns to settle differences, rob and murder each other, Norfolk’s top cop has repeatedly criticized, cajoled and complained this past year in community gatherings, press conferences and through social media.  Boone is urging everyone to approach gun crimes the same way […]

Virginia is a ‘bellwether’ on gun control. Here’s how things have changed

BY: - September 5, 2019

WASHINGTON — When Congress passed the landmark background check legislation known as the Brady Bill back in 1993, two Virginia Republicans were among the 54 GOP lawmakers in the U.S. House who voted to send the bill to President Bill Clinton’s desk. They were: ex-Reps. Herbert Bateman and Frank Wolf. Four Virginia Democrats voted against […]

Which Virginia localities rely most on traffic fines for revenue?

BY: - September 2, 2019

Emporia is a well-known speed trap, dreaded by heavy-footed drivers who might think the city near the border of North Carolina funds its operations entirely through the punishment of too-fast drivers. But 124 miles away, there’s a town that relies on bad drivers’ traffic fines and similar payments more than Emporia: Eastville, a 200-person town […]

In a statehouse that’s debated guns for decades, testimony treads familiar ground

BY: - August 21, 2019

The same advocates. The same arguments. Many of the same pieces of legislation. Five hours of public testimony on gun safety legislation Tuesday tread familiar ground in a statehouse that’s been debating the issues in tightly-packed committee rooms for decades. A Falls Church City Council member pleaded with lawmakers to allow them to ban guns […]

3 laws that could cut homicides 36 percent and more numbers on guns in Virginia

BY: - August 19, 2019

A researcher at Boston University told a state panel weighing gun legislation Monday that passing three new firearms laws in Virginia could lead to 124 fewer homicides a year – an estimate she said she considers conservative. Claire Boine, who co-authored a study on the most effective policies in reducing gun violence, told the State […]

As prisoners continue to die, Virginia appeals federal court order mandating better health care

BY: - August 14, 2019

Inmates at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women weren’t particularly surprised when Margie Ryder died last month. Sad, yes. But sick inmates at Fluvanna die with frequency. In 2016, a judge approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by inmates alleging medical care at the facility was so poor it violated inmates’ constitutional rights. The Department […]

To stem killings, GOP lawmaker wants to boost violence intervention programs in Virginia

BY: - August 12, 2019

Taking cues from other states and cities that have implemented them, Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, wants Virginia to establish more programs that encourage people to leave violent lifestyles in order to curb shooting deaths. Weeks after the General Assembly abruptly adjourned a special session called to address gun violence after a mass shooting in Virginia […]

Va. Dems to Mitch McConnell: Pass languishing gun control bill

BY: - August 5, 2019

WASHINGTON — In the wake of two devastating mass shootings over the weekend, Virginia Democrats are imploring the U.S. Senate to vote on sweeping gun control legislation the U.S. House passed in February. After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, which killed at least 29 people and injured many more, Virginia members of the […]

Virginia’s ‘habitual drunkard’ law is dead

BY: - August 2, 2019

A federal appeals court ruling last month, combined with Attorney General Mark Herring’s announcement today that he won’t appeal, means Virginia’s habitual drunkard law is effectively dead. “The General Assembly should have taken this strange and regressive law off the books a long time ago, but now that the court has done it for us […]

Reflecting national trends, meth arrests and deaths continue to climb in Virginia

BY: - August 1, 2019

Methamphetamine arrests and overdose deaths are climbing in Virginia, reflecting a national trend amid a crackdown on opioids. Seizures of methamphetamine spiked between 2017 and 2018, NPR reported, marking a national resurgence of the highly addictive stimulant that Virginia has also seen. Preliminary data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the first […]