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criminal justice reform

Feb 15, 2021

Mandatory minimum bills advance

(AP) Lawmakers in both chambers of the General Assembly advanced criminal justice reform measures that would eliminate mandatory minimums in favor of allowing judges more sentencing discretion. Senate Bill 1443, introduced by Sen. John S. Edwards, D-Roanoke, narrowly passed Feb. 5 on a 21-17 vote. The bill proposes to eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentences in Virginia […]

Nov 30, 2020

Unlinked: Prosecutors renounce funding incentives to pile on charges

One aspect of the 2020 Virginia criminal justice reform agenda may already have been achieved, even as reform legislation was parked for a year. Virginia prosecutors responding to a call for revision of the state’s formula for allocating staff positions deny there has been any practical incentive to overcharge defendants, but they have agreed to […]

Mar 16, 2020

Reformers disappointed with criminal justice legislation

Despite some wins by advocates for criminal justice change in Virginia, the 2020 General Assembly session failed to deliver on a number of key projects for reformers. Proposals to revamp sentencing and to greatly expand judges’ authority to defer and dismiss criminal cases failed to make it past the House of Delegates this year, despite […]

Apr 5, 2018

Governor signs bill raising felony theft threshold

(AP) Gov. Ralph Northam has signed legislation that will soften the penalties for people caught stealing smaller-dollar items. The Democratic governor announced April 4 that he’d approved a bill that raises the state’s felony theft threshold from $200 to $500. The bill’s sponsor Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke, said in a statement on Twitter that he believed […]

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