WISE COUNTY, VA (WJHL) – A group of Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys are taking an executive order from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the state’s Supreme Court.
The Wise County and City of Norton Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp is joining more than 40 Commonwealth’s Attorneys in opposing the order which restored the voting rights of more than 200,000 convicted felons in Virginia.
According to a news release, the other rights and privileges restored to convicted felons under the order?along with the?right to vote, includes the right to serve on a jury, to hold public office and to act as a notary public.
The brief also makes several legal arguments that the governor’s action is “unconstitutional and hinders Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ ability to discharge their duties.”
The following is a statement issued from Slemp Friday:
I join this distinguished group of bipartisan Commonwealth’s Attorneys because I am deeply concerned by the Governor’s action. It is reckless for the Governor to restore the rights of violent felons without an individualized determination of whether the individual deserves to have his rights restored, whether victims are placed at risk, and whether the violent felon should be allowed to serve on a jury or possess a firearm. The Governor’s blanket restoration order is dangerous because it places our community at risk and is insulting to victims of violent crime.”?
“I generally support the idea of redemption and forgiveness for those who have made mistakes in their past and paid their debt to society. However, I am concerned that the Governor rushed to restore these rights without even checking on whether these individuals are still in prison, whether they pose threats to society, or whether victims are put at risk by this decision. I am even more troubled that the Governor now will not provide a list of names of the felons who were restored by his order.”
The state Supreme Court has set an expedited briefing schedule and placed the case on the docket for a special session on July 19.
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