Review of the 2018 Virginia Legislative Session
Home / Review of the 2018 Virginia Legislative Session
Now that a Virginia budget for the next two years has finally passed and been signed into law, the work of the 2018 General Assembly session is complete.
Our major inititative for the past few years has been legislation to exempt those with severe mental illness (SMI) from the death penalty.
Eighteen conservative and Libertarian leaders – including former Attorneys General Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Earley and former Congressman Tom Bliley – endorsed this reform legislation. Twelve murder victim family members in Virginia also supported the proposed statute.
Despite this growing conservative support, we ran into implacable opposition from the new chair of the Virginia House of Delegates Courts of Justice Committee. He refused to even allow the bill to be heard in committee!
In the Senate, our SMI exemption bill died in committee, yet was referred to the Crime Commission for study by the powerful Senate Majority Leader, a positive sign. In the prior year the bill was handily defeated in committee.
While these developments might seem to be a setback, we see progress.
A principal reason for this progress is the outstanding work of VADP Field Director Dale Brumfield. His numerous meetings in key areas of the state with local civic, business, and religious leaders have generated constituent pressure on important legislators to support our reform legislation.
You are the reason for VADP’s effective work. The death penalty is on the decline in Virginia, as seen in no death sentences in nearly seven years and a dwindling number of juries willing to consider the ultimate penalty.
Please help us keep up this fight by making a generous donation to VADP today. Just click here: https://www.vadp.org/donate/