Crime and courts

‘My mom’s life mattered’: Son of shooting victim urges Congress to act

June 9, 2022

Garnell Whitfield Jr. the son of 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield who was killed during a mass shooting at Tops market speaks during a press conference with attorney Benjamin Crump and members of his extended family by his side on May 16, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. A gunman opened fire at the store on Saturday killing […]

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Virginia police routinely use secret GPS pings to track people’s cell phones

April 7, 2022

By Ned Oliver  (VM) – Scott Durvin says he faced aggressive questioning from a Chesterfield County Police detective after his friend died of a drug overdose at the end of 2019. What he didn’t know at the time was that police had also begun secretly tracking his whereabouts by ordering Verizon Wireless to regularly ping […]

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Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings to highlight a missing perspective on SCOTUS

March 18, 2022

(USN) – Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be in the hot seat next week as she heads into a series of high-profile hearings to become the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. And while it’s unclear how much bipartisan support she’ll receive – if any – she’s poised to have a much smoother path […]

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Assembly passes bill to increase money for those wrongfully convicted

March 17, 2022

Professor Jennifer Givens, left, one of the directors of the Innocence Project at UVA Law, gave testimony at the Virginia General Assembly in 2020 along with client Darnell Phillips, seated with his fiancée, Nichelle Ruffin. Photo by Juliet Hatchett By ALAN CLANCY(CNS) – A bill proposed by Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, that has passed the General […]

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Five cases in which Va.’s new AG changed the state’s legal position

March 7, 2022

By Ned Oliver (VM) – Attorney General Jason Miyares is the first Republican to hold the office in nearly a decade. So his office says it’s natural to expect the state’s legal position to change after eight years under the control of Democrat Mark Herring. Asked for a complete accounting of cases in which Miyares […]

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People of Color Win $53 Million Fair Housing Lawsuit

February 25, 2022

By: Maria – Paula The Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, HOME of VA, together with the National Fair Housing Alliance, NFHA joined 19 other local fair housing organizations countrywide to reach a landmark $53 million settlement with the Federal National Mortgage Association, Fannie Mae. The lawsuit recorded the first time a federal court confirmed […]

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Thousands of incarcerated people in Virginia who cannot legally vote will no longer be counted in their prison’s district as if they can, thanks to a new law.

February 3, 2022

By Charlotte Woods (CT) – In Virginia, incarcerated people lose their constitutional right to vote while they are serving their sentences. And yet, those people have previously been counted where they are incarcerated — skewing population data, which affects how voting districts are drawn. The idea of people being counted in places where they don’t […]

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Why a Republican legislator wants to make it easier for ex-offenders to vote

January 20, 2022

BY GRAHAM MOOMAW Del. Mike Cherry, R-Colonial Heights, center, on the floor of the House of Delegates after being sworn into office. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury) Mike Cherry says it’s his religious faith, and the Republican Party’s distant history of expanding voting rights to African Americans and women, that led him to sponsor legislation many wouldn’t expect […]

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Biden: January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January 3, 2022

By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA) – Human trafficking – whether in the form of forced labor, sex trafficking, or other offenses – counts as an abhorrent abuse of power and a profoundly immoral crime that strikes at the safety, health, and dignity of millions of people worldwide,” President Joe Biden said in a statement declaring […]

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Black children 2x as likely to enter the justice system

December 30, 2021

BY: KATE MASTERS  (VM) – A state watchdog agency found that wide disparities remain in Virginia’s juvenile justice system, even as the number of children involved has declined dramatically in the last few years. The report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, which oversees state agencies, also recommends closing the only state-operated juvenile detention center […]

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