Virginia senate panel defeats bill to restore parole

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A bill that would have restored parole in Virginia has been killed by lawmakers.

On Friday, members of a Senate committee heard emotional testimony from family members of crime victims who pleaded with them to guarantee that their assailants would remain locked up.

The committee voted to send the measure to the Virginia State Crime Commission for study, ending the bill’s chances of passing this year.

Virginia abolished discretionary parole in 1995 and began requiring offenders to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.

The bill sponsored by Sen. John Edwards would have reinstated parole and made it retroactive so that people sentenced for a felony beginning in 1995 would become eligible.

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