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VA: Virginia Crime Commission recommends eliminating all mandatory minimum sentences

[virginiamercury.com – 1/7/21]

Members of the Virginia Crime Commission voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to endorse legislation stripping all mandatory minimum sentences from state code.

The sweeping proposal, which lawmakers plan to introduce when the General Assembly convenes later this month, would eliminate mandatory jail and prison terms attached to 224 offenses that range from drunken driving to child rape.

Lawmakers on the commission who backed the proposal — all Democrats — called it an important step to restore sentencing discretion to local judges and juries.

Most of the mandatory minimum sentences on the books in Virginia address driving while intoxicated, narcotics, child pornography and weapon violations, according to the research undertaken by the Crime Commission, though they said the offenses make up a relatively small proportion of convictions in any given year, accounting for just 3 percent of convictions in the past five years.

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  1. Jack

    Wow. I didn’t think Joe Biden saying he opposed mandatory minimums and that the 1994 crime bill was a mistake would have such an impact. Let alone this quickly. Guess it pays to have a criminal defense attorney in the White House after all haha.

  2. Missouri guy

    I will be honest, I have read this and don’t understand the implications of it.

    I am guessing it is good, but how? Can someone please explain?

    • Too damn long

      Missouri guy,

      The proposal gives the judge discretionary power to impose whatever sentence they deemed appropriate to the offense. So the person’s history, level of offense can be a mitigating factor. No more cut and dry sentences. A good thing!

      • q

        Rebalancing the system, one move at a time. Unfortunately prosecutor in chief Harris will undoubtedly help to muck it up again behind the scenes -_-

  3. Jack

    Guess it’s a good thing she only made it to the VP position too. I think the worst thing she could possibly do would be to oppose a judge that would be favorable to our cause.

  4. Mary

    This is a Virginia change not a Federal change so the White House, President-elect and the VP-elect has NOTHING to do with it.
    There are state laws and sentencing rules and there are federal laws and sentencing rules.
    This VSCC proposal has to be written as a bill at the upcoming 2021 VA General Assembly by a Virginia Legislator, it has to pass both Virginia chambers and then it has to be signed by Virginia Governor.
    https://www.thecentersquare.com/virginia/virginia-democrats-crafting-bill-to-abolish-most-mandatory-minimum-sentences/article_b60a4418-5131-11eb-a7e4-2b417e6e88d1.html

  5. Saddles

    This mandatory minimun sentence is good if one considers what is mandatory. Its about time that this proposal comes up as its the good step to see some light at the end of the tunnel. This is a way to reduce much of this registry kayos. Even people on this board are talking about this tier registry with is a level of man made circumstances that are more of a downfall than any other.

    When one falls down, either they have to “stand up” like Janice says, forget about it as some have told me, or just let this issue get to one’s mind which can cause even more damages or who is in control the one that induced or the one seduced by much of this registry.

    Yes this proposal in Virginia is good in many respects. People talk about this registry but their has always been some registry of some kind or is every man woman and child responsible for their actions or who is roaming the halls today in schools’or even on the internet looking for this type of enticement.

    Government is just as good as the way it governs or is everyone a saints in America? Even the black man know’s how to take the bitter with the sweet and we all need corrections in many ways and it doesn’t have to involve going to jail or prison. While this registry is a bit far fetched in many views their are pro’s and con’s in every situation.

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