FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
The “Protect Virginians Now” Proposal Gains Support
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - With the new allegations that the Governor's Office and the Attorney General's Office participated in a growing cover up regarding the Virginia Parole Board crisis (Link), the Republican front-runner for Attorney General, Delegate Jason Miyares, outlined his plan to ensure violent offenders remain behind bars, serving the time imposed by juries for their violent acts. Recognizing that public safety should never be a political issue, Miyares called for Virginians to pass a Constitutional Amendment abolishing parole for the most violent offenders. His “Protect Virginians Now” proposal guarantees that violent offenders will serve the prison sentence imposed without the possibility of early release by the legislature or a rogue parole board.
Virginians, tired of a revolving door justice system, pushed for parole abolition during the mid-1990s. The legislature at the time overwhelmingly supported the abolition of parole and truth in sentencing proposals, championed by then Governor George Allen. With the abolition of parole and violent offenders serving their complete sentences, Virginia witnessed one of the lowest crime rates in the nation and actually prevented thousands of violent crimes. (Link) Recently, however, Virginia’s legislature and the Virginia Parole Board began to take steps to weaken Virginia’s abolition of parole for the most violent offenders.
In the legislature, Virginia Democrats voted this session to make it easier for rapists, murderers and other violent offenders to be released early. The Democrat legislature even voted to allow the most violent offenders to be released with little or no bond. (Link) Virginia Democrats worked to remove mandatory minimums for violent criminals and wanted to allow resentencing. The Democrats even admitted that a “life without parole” sentence from a jury no longer means “life without parole”. (2/12/2021 House debate) The Virginia Parole Board under Democrat rule began granting parole to murderers and other violent offenders, leaving victims voiceless in the decision and allowing violent offenders free to roam our street. (Link)
But worse, the Virginia Parole Board broke the law and released a cop killer back onto the street and then tried to cover up their violation of the law. Virginia’s Inspector General confirmed the violation in a report that eventually found its way to the General Assembly. The Inspector even accused the Parole Board of attempting to falsify or destroy evidence that would’ve proven their violations of the law. (Link)
Miyares explained, “With this reckless behavior coming from our Democrat legislature and the Virginia Parole Board, we need a Constitutional Amendment to ensure that parole remains abolished for the most violent criminals in Virginia.” Under his plan, the legislature would need to approve the language of the Constitutional Amendment in successive legislatures with an intervening state election but more importantly, Virginia voters would then have the opportunity to pass this important public safety Constitutional Amendment to protect their neighborhoods.
Delegate Terry Kilgore of the First House District, stated:
“During my very first session in the General Assembly, we moved to abolish parole and lock up violent offenders for longer periods of time. We held public hearings all around the Commonwealth and heard from law enforcement, citizens and crime victims. In a bipartisan vote, we abolished parole to protect citizens from the revolving door of violent criminals committing crimes over and over. Abolishing parole worked and Virginia saw lower violent crime rates and prevented thousands of crimes. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the progressives work to weaken our actions and return to an unchecked liberal parole system. Jason’s push for a Constitutional Amendment cementing the abolition of parole in our Constitution is the only way to prevent these constant attacks on our sound system.”