Mandatory minimum bills advance from Virginia House, Senate

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lawmakers in both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly advanced criminal justice reform measures that would eliminate mandatory minimums in favor of allowing judges more sentencing discretion.

Senate Bill 1443, introduced by Sen. John S. Edwards, D-Roanoke, narrowly passed Friday on a 21-17 vote.

The bill proposes to eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentences in Virginia for various crimes, including aggravated involuntary manslaughter, child pornography and violating a protective order for abuse victims.

The legislation does not include Class 1 felonies such as willful and deliberate murder.

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