Republicans blast Va. governor’s parole commission

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ State Republican lawmakers blasted Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s establishment of a commission to study potential criminal justice reforms and whether Virginia’s parole abolition in the 1990s has been good for the state. GOP lawmakers said at a Capitol news conference Monday that Virginia’s criminal justice system works well and that reviving parole in Virginia would hurt victims of past crimes. They spoke just before the commission’s first meeting. Del. Todd Gilbert called McAuliffe’s commission a “song and dance” whose mission is to give a pretext for bringing back parole. But Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney, who is the commission’s co-chair, said the commission was formed to have a “frank conversation” about imperfections in the criminal justice system. Former Republican Gov. George Allen and the legislature abolished parole in 1995.

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