Virginia gov rejects call to halt parole for violent felons

Virginia gov rejects call to halt parole for violent felons
Gov. Ralph Northam, pictured earlier this month, has been holding regular briefings on the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia and the state's response. (Source: Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has rejected a call from several top GOP lawmakers to institute a moratorium on the release of certain inmates by the Virginia Parole Board.

The request from the lawmakers came a day after state officials disclosed that Virginia’s government watchdog is conducting an administrative investigation into the board’s decision to grant parole to a man serving a life sentence for the killing of a Richmond police officer.

Prosecutors and victims’ families across the state have also raised concerns about other cases.

Northam’s spokeswoman says safe parole is an important part of the administration’s work to create “a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system.”

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