Justice System

Part 5 of 5
5:00 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Crisis in Correctional Care: Pressing for Prison Reform

By the end of this year, California must release 9,600 prisoners from the nation’s largest correctional system, because the Supreme Court says overcrowding makes it impossible to provide adequate healthcare for inmates.

Failing to do so constitutes cruel and unusual punishment - a violation of the U.S. Constitution.  Virginia’s prisons are also crowded and facing a lawsuit over medical care that will be heard this spring, but on other reasons for change in the Commonwealth’s correctional centers.

Read more
University of Virginia
10:15 am
Mon March 24, 2014

The Innocence Project

Brian Banks is a former NFL linebacker whose career was derailed by a wrongful conviction for rape.  After he spent five years in prison, the woman who accused him admitted she had lied. 

Now, Banks is coming to Virginia to help the Innocence Project – an organization that helps inmates prove they are not criminals.

No one knows how many people are wrongly convicted each year in Virginia, but Matthew Engle gets many requests for help from people who insist they are innocent.

“It’s not unusual for us to get 20-25 new requests for help a week.”   

Read more
Federal Charges
4:37 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Judge Denies Motion by Former Governor

A federal judge has denied a request by former Governor Bob McDonnell’s defense attorneys to limit the prosecution’s involvement in a separate, CIVIL case filed by shareholders of Star Scientific. 

McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, have pleaded “not guilty” to federal charges of improperly promoting the company’s dietary supplement in exchange for gifts from its former CEO, Jonnie Williams … and they maintain that the civil case is relevant.

Read more
Law & Crime
1:02 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Virginia Police Departments Test E-Traffic Tickets

Credit photo by Beverly Amsler

The latest law enforcement tool isn’t a gun or bullet-proof vest but an on-board electronic scanner.  Three Virginia police departments are beta testing the new device. 

Read more
VA Atty Heads to the U.S. Supreme Court
3:17 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Beards Behind Bars

Gregory Holt

A Virginia lawyer is on his way to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the right of a man to grow a beard.  Seven states will be watching that case closely.  

Gregory Holt is serving a life sentence  for burglary and domestic battery in Arkansas – one of seven states that bar prisoners from growing a beard.  His lawyer says that’s a problem, because Holt is a Muslim.

Douglas Laycock, a professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Virginia.  He says Holt got all the way to the Supreme Court without the help of a lawyer:

Read more