by Kerry Dougherty
Imagine for a moment that you are the victim of a violent crime. The perpetrator has been arrested and you thought he was about to go on trial when you learn that your local prosecutor — one of those squishy soft-on-crime types who was bankrolled by George Soros — already entered into a sweet plea deal with your attacker. You were never notified, so the judge signed off on it.
Now this predator is back on the streets.
It happens. And Virginia has several prosecutors who fall into the criminals-first-victims-second camp.
Well, thanks to bipartisan efforts by the General Assembly, this sort of chicanery is over.
SB 989, a bill that just passed both houses of the state legislature and is certain to be signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, requires prosecutors to contact crime victims BEFORE they enter into plea agreements.
Commonwealth’s attorneys are not obligated to do what the victim wants, but they have to listen. Current Virginia law only requires prosecutors to notify victims if the victims ask to be notified.
The best part of this bill? It passed with overwhelming majorities in both houses. Introduced by Sen. Mark J. Peake, a Republican from Lynchburg at the behest of Attorney General Jason Miyares, the measure sailed through the House of Delegates 79-20 and the Senate by a vote of 30 to 10.
Shoot, even Louise “Brick Wall” Lucas voted for it.
Who would vote against such a common-sense, pro-victim bill?
Newly elected Sen. Aaron Rouse, who represents the 7th District that includes part of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, that’s who.
Congratulations, voters of the 7th. You replaced tough-on-crime Jen Kiggans with someone who doesn’t even want prosecutors to speak with crime victims before entering into deals that are favorable to the criminals who hurt them.
What were you thinking?
Republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed and Unedited.