Law and Crime

Children typically have a state-provided safety net if they're left without a suitable parent—especially when they've been abused. But what about the elderly adult or someone who suffers from a disability or mental illness?  Who do they turn to? Who takes care of them, and who pays for it?  These are some of the many questions the Commonwealth is trying to answer.  

Last year alone Adult Protective Services investigated more than 17,000 reports of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation, with about 1,800 of them perpetrated by family members.  

While a domestic violence victim may be too afraid or embarrassed to admit that he or she is being abused, pets that witness or endure it don't lie.  And now with a backdrop of the trauma endured by pets, animal control, law enforcement, and victims’ advocates are learning how to identify and pursue domestic abuse cases.  

Some Virginia lawmakers admit that they take it personally when sex traffickers decide to make the Commonwealth a hub for their business—especially since they target children. It's why even after making great strides over the last several years in holding those predators accountable, lawmakers remain very aggressive in stopping this at the source. 

Many studies reveal that traffickers target runaways and children from broken homes who have been through the foster care system. Alicia Cundiff with Richmond Justice Initiative explains why.

Family members of missing persons throughout Virginia appeared before the State Crime Commission today to discuss ways to enhance the search and rescue process. Alexis Murphy’s aunt Trina and Morgan Harrington’s mother Gil were both present, and they believe the Commonwealth can make specific improvements to help better facilitate search and rescue efforts in abduction cases.

Anne Marie Morgan

Next week, a federal court will hear the appeal of former Governor Bob McDonnell’s conviction on federal corruption charges. Among the many amicus briefs submitted to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is one by six former Virginia attorneys general. The four Democrats and two Republicans argue that the lower court’s expansive interpretation of law on which his conviction is based is erroneous.