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Fairfax prosecutor to form ‘Justice Advisory Council’

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano says he plans to create a “Justice Advisory Council” of community representatives to discuss potential reforms and “group think policy ideas.”

Descano says he’s restructuring his office to create positions of Deputy for Community Justice, Deputy for Policy Reform and Deputy for Court Strategies. He will also hire a Director of Data, according to a press release.

“It’s important that we take conspicuous action right now to ensure that real change starts to take hold now,” Descano said in the release.

Descano’s June 4 announcement followed a May 29 advisory that his office would no longer respond to defense counsel inquiries about resolving traffic and criminal cases. The procedure in place since April 24 allowed lawyers to work out plea agreements before going to court, to minimize virus transmission.

“We are pleased that through the procedure, we were able to address over 200 cases. However, we will no longer be responding to inquiries made pursuant to this procedure, including those inquiries previously made to which we have not yet responded,” Descano said in a notice to the Fairfax Bar Association.

Descano was not available to comment on his ending of the pretrial resolution program.

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