by Kerry Dougherty
Never was the left’s affection for criminals more apparent than in the spring of 2020 when Virginia’s Parole Board, under the leadership of self-confessed “bleeding heart” Adrianne Bennett went on a madcap freeing spree.
According to an exhaustive 66-page report released this week by Attorney General Jason Miyares, Bennett’s actions during just a two-month period — March and April of that year — endangered public safety over and over with the release of scores of violent predators.
Of the 134 offenders released between March 2020 and April 2020, 130 of them were convicted of violent crimes. Only four were non-violent.
These offenders were not released due to COVID-19 and the Parole Board was not given authority to release offenders due to the pandemic. Instead, they were released due to the traceable actions of one person: then Parole Board Chair Adrianne Bennett. Bennett is now a judge for the 2nd Judicial District Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court in Virginia Beach. Miyares launched the investigation into the Northam administration’s Parole Board on his first day in office due to an executive order signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
Bits and pieces of the Parole Board’s lawless actions were reported in various newspapers and outlets including this website as they were happening. But to see the releases compiled in one place gives a chilling overview of the situation that imperiled innocent lives.
And be sure to show it to any Virginian who intends to vote for Democrats this year. Point them to the section on March 2020:
In 2020, the Virginia Parole Board’s actions came under elevated public scrutiny after it released 95 offenders in March 2020 – the highest number of releases ever granted in a single month.
The 95 offenders released in March 2020 included:
- 4 capital murderers
- 31 first degree murderers
- 11 rapists
- 33 offenders convicted of robbery
Worse, Miyares accuses Bennett of breaking the law in her breathless hurry to spring criminals. Sadly, the statute of limitations for this crime has expired. At the time of Bennett’s chairmanship of the Parole Board Mark Herring was attorney general.
Neither Herring nor then-Gov. Ralph Northam appeared concerned about violent criminals being returned to society without regard for regulations and rules. Chances are they were high-fiving every time a criminal got out.
According to Miyares, on 66 occasions Bennett failed to notify prosecutors that someone they had put in prison was heading home. And in many cases Bennett made half-hearted or no attempts to notify family members of the crime victims that felons were returning to their towns and villages.
Bennett should have been in trouble for her behavior on the Parole Board. Instead, she was rewarded by grateful Democrats in the General Assembly with a judgeship .
That should tell you everything you need to know.
This column first ran in Kerry: Unemployed and Unedited and is republished with permission.