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News in Brief

Legislators support allowing minor offenses to be erased

(AP) A bill that’s getting bipartisan support in the General Assembly would allow people who had minor alcohol or marijuana possession offenses when they were under the age of 21 to have their records expunged. Under Republican Sen. Ryan McDougle’s ...

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Details of Blacksburg killing emerge at bond hearing

BLACKSBURG (AP) Natalie Keepers told a judge that she was bullied — just like the 13-year-old girl she is accused of plotting to kill. And like seventh-grader Nicole Lovell, the 19-year-old Virginia Tech student had endured health challenges, though Keepers’ ...

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Appeals court orders judge to reconsider Md. gun law ruling

(AP) Maryland’s assault weapons ban implicates its citizens’ core Second Amendment rights and must be reviewed under a more rigorous judicial standard than the one used by a judge who upheld the law’s constitutionality, a divided federal appeals court ruled ...

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Lacking execution drugs, Virginia eyes the electric chair

(AP) A proposal that would force inmates to die by electric chair if lethal injection drugs can’t be found is gaining steam in Virginia, in part because of a looming execution scheduled for next month. State officials are frantically searching ...

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Guy to lead VBA, Thomas goes on ladder

WILLIAMSBURG–Richmond lawyer James Patrick Guy II became president of the Virginia Bar Association at the group’s winter meeting in late January. David S. Mercer, who practices in Alexandria, will be president-elect in the coming year. And C.J. Steuart Thomas III ...

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Proposal would cap state contingency fees (access required)

State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, is leading an effort to limit contingency fees that private lawyers recover when they sue in the name of the state. The state Senate last month approved the measure that also would require public disclosure ...

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Virginia man in same-sex custody case ordered to prison

(AP) A pastor convicted of helping a Virginia woman flee the country rather than share custody of her daughter with her former Vermont same-sex partner has been ordered to federal prison after a court rejected an appeal of his 2012 ...

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Ruling puts payday loan lawsuit back in court

(AP) A federal appeals court has put a Virginia man’s lawsuit over a payday loan back before a judge. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously reversed U.S. District Judge John Gibney’s order ...

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Bid for transparency of execution drugs hits roadblock

(AP) A Virginia lawmaker is joining a chorus of voices across numerous states pushing officials to reveal the source of drugs used in lethal-injection executions. But Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell’s measure appears to have little chance of passing this year: ...

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