by Brandon Jarvis

Democrats were split on a bill that would require the commonwealth’s attorney to be notified if a person charged with a violent offense is receiving bail from a judicial officer. The Democratic caucus split mostly on racial lines in support or opposition to the bill. 

The legislation would require magistrates to either prior to or simultaneously notify the commonwealth’s attorney when a person is granted bail for a violent offense.

“This gives the commonwealth’s attorney the ability to have notice,” said Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover. “It doesn’t stop the bail, doesn’t change the release time, but gives notice when the individual charged with a violent felony is released on bail.” 

The violent offenses that this bill would require the commonwealth’s attorney to be notified for are first and second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, mob-related felonies, kidnapping or felony abduction, malicious felony assault, malicious bodily wounding, robbery, criminal sexual offenses like rape or sexual penetration and arson.  

Senators who opposed the bill did not make any public statements during committee or when it was presented on the full floor. They did not provide comment for this story.

The legislation passed in the Senate and will now go over to the House of Delegates to be taken up. 

If the bill passes in its identical form, it will go to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk for his signature. 

By vascope