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Governor takes on mandatory minimum sentences

People who live in Virginia and who are convicted of criminal offenses will understandably want to learn about the penalties they may face. Depending on the nature of the offense for which a person is convicted, it is possible that there will be little variance in the penalties as many crimes carry with them mandated sentencing guidelines. Many of these require that a defendant be sentenced to a required minimum length of time with absolutely no regard given to the specifics of the case.

Mandatory minimum sentences have been a topic of debate and come under fire by many who assert they are not fair. According to a report by WJLA, two bills were recently passed in the state legislature that would add even more mandatory minimum sentences into the state's code. The Governor, however, has indicated that he intends to veto both of these bills because he does not agree with the required mandatory sentences.

The Governor has also publicly declared that his actions in vetoing these two bills will be his path forward as he said he will not approve any more legislation with mandatory minimum sentences. There are apparently more than 200 such required minimum sentences already in place in Virginia.

Depending on the offense, a mandatory minimum sentence may see a person incarcerated for a matter of days, weeks, months or even years. The Governor is asserting that judges should be given greater discretion with which to assess each case and make an appropriate recommendation for a sentence.

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