Crime Commission Votes to Eliminate Minimum Sentences

During today’s meeting of the Virginia Crime Commission, the panel voted 9-2 to encourage the General Assembly to remove all mandatory minimum sentences in Virginia law, regardless of the severity of the crime.

Among crimes where the mandatory minimums would repealed are:

  •     Capital murder of a police officer
  •     Straw purchases of firearms
  •     Rape of a child under age 13
  •     Conviction for any violent felony, third offense
  •     Second violation of a protective order in 5 years
  •     Violation of a protective order; third offense
  •     Use of a firearm in the commission of a felony; second offense
  •     Assault on a teacher or school employee
  •     Financing or producing child pornography; second offense
  •     Solicitation of children for sex via computer
  •     Forcible sodomy child 12 and under
  •     DUI manslaughter
  •     Use of a firearm on school property

House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement:

“This is by far the most egregious ‘soft on crime’ proposal yet in the Democrats’ attempts to make life easier on criminals. This proposal to retroactively revisit imposed sentences would drag the victims of rape, assault, child pornography, and hate crimes crimes, as well as the families of murder victims, back into court as these criminals are re-sentenced. Victims would face an impossible choice  — relive the worst day of their lives once again, or potentially let their tormentors walk free.”

“We knew Democrats thought Virginia’s criminal justice system was too tough on killers, robbers and child molesters. But the fact that they would put their victims through another round of trauma should shock the conscience of every Virginian. Furthermore, consistent with their insatiable desire to lay the responsibility for gun violence at the feet of law-abiding citizens, this Democrat proposal will remove mandatory penalties for actual gun crimes and take away a proven tool in actually reducing gun crimes and improving the quality of life in the most dangerous neighborhoods in our Commonwealth.”

“Today’s Crime Commission vote makes it clear: Virginia Democrats continue their quest to stand with criminals at the expense of past and future victims. Republicans will always stand with victims and law enforcement. I look forward to working to defeat this insane proposal not only in the General Assembly, but also at the ballot box.”