Law & Crime

Legal and Criminal

Virginia's governor, attorney general, and public safety secretary marked the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month by focusing on the number of homicides committed with guns. Their message is that many of the Commonwealth’s domestic violence deaths last year—and many other fatalities—could have been prevented with several key gun control laws. 

Attorney General Mark Herring has launched a new initiative to train law enforcement officers in “impartial policing” and how to deescalate dangerous situations.   

The idea was prompted by recent incidents of citizen fatalities and neighborhood protests against police across the U.S.   The program also aims to enhance cooperation between police and citizens—and help ensure that communities have trust and confidence that they’re being treated fairly.

A recent state report revealed that more than 2300 Personal Evidence Recovery Kits in police departments throughout Virginia have not been tested.  The evidence could potentially identify and lead to the prosecution of sex offenders. 

Hundreds of prison inmates in Virginia file grievances each year over the health care they get or don’t get behind bars.  Now, the state has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of 1,200 prisoners.

It’s been more than three years since Abigail Turner, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center, filed a class action suit in federal district court, claiming inadequate care had caused prisoners’ health to deteriorate at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.  She said some - like 47-year-old  Darlene White - had died.

Albemarle County prosecutors say they won’t seek the death penalty against Jesse Matthew, who has now been indicted for the 2009 kidnapping and murder of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington after a Metallica concert in Charlottesville.  He’s already facing a murder charge in connection with the death of 18-year-old UVA student Hannah Graham, and if convicted in that case, he could be executed.  Harrington’s parents, who were active in the search for their daughter’s killer, were in court today as the charges were read.