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Dr. Rick Kern, RIP

On May 18, 1988, I interviewed Dr. Rick Kern, director of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, for an article about a draft of new guidelines the commission was proposing.

Why the date? It was the day I started working here. Rick was the first interview I had for my first story published in Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

Rick Kern died last Sunday, Dec. 13, after a long battle with cancer. He was 58. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has an obituary in this morning’s edition.

Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a statement praising him: “Virginia has lost a brilliant scholar, devoted public servant and leading criminologist today. Dr. Kern was nationally and internationally known for his work in offender recidivism and risk assessment. He left a lasting legacy on Virginia’s criminal justice system, having lead in the development of the truth-in sentencing laws when Virginia abolished parole in 1994.

The governor added his condolences to the family. “While their personal loss is painful and immediate, they can rest assured that Rick Kern’s contributions to public safety in Virginia will have a lasting impact on generations to come.”

Indeed. RIP.

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