Gov. Terry McAuliffe proposes criminal justice reforms

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants Virginia to be more forgiving when it comes to lower-level crimes while making it easier for new DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

The governor, a Democrat, announced several legislative priorities Tuesday aimed at overhauling the state’s criminal justice system.

They include raising the threshold for felony theft from $200 to $500 and restricting the state’s ability to suspend driver’s licenses for certain crimes or unpaid court debts.

And McAuliffe wants to those who have previously pled guilty to crimes to be able to seek a finding of innocence should new DNA evidence become available. The governor said only those who pleaded guilty and were convicted are able to take advantage of new DNA evidence after trial.

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