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Governor Vetoes Mandatory Minimum Sentence for Spouse Abuse

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Governor Ralph Northamby Tyler Arnold, Watchdog.org

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have instituted mandatory minimum sentencing in some domestic abuse cases.

Although Northam said he vetoed the bill because judges should not have their hands tied, Republicans are accusing him of simply trying to score political points after his recent scandals.

“We rely on our judges and juries to make sound sentencing decisions based on the circumstances of each individual case,” the Democratic governor said in his veto statement.

“In making these decisions, judges and juries consider a number of factors before determining a sentence, and their sentence decisions are the result of intense deliberation,” Northam said. “Imposing mandatory minimum sentences eliminates this discretion and ties the hands of the individuals we have entrusted to make these important decisions.”

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© 2019 Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity

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