The 69-page report satisfies demands from Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who, like Miyares, asked the board to clean the house over allegations about his actions during the coronavirus pandemic. I ran a campaign to make a promise.
The State Inspector General denounced the parole board under the government at the time. Ralph Northam (Democrat) for releasing inmates without following procedures to notify local prosecutors or families of victims. However, an outside law firm hired by the Northam administration found that the investigators who prepared the Inspector General’s report were biased and did not use rigorous practices.
Outside firm accuses Virginia Inspector General investigators of possible bias in reports related to state parole board actions
The latest report from Miyares, accusing 130 of the released inmates of being convicted of violent crimes, provides more details. He said the parole board failed to properly notify victims or their families on his 83rd occasion in March and his April of that year.
According to the report, the commission failed to properly notify local federal attorneys 66 times during that period.
It accused former board chairman Adrian Bennett, a judge of the District Court of Juvenile and Domestic Affairs in Virginia Beach, in the case of three convicted murderers of tampering with discharge records and calling certain inmates ” “He violated eight court orders that made him ineligible for voluntary parole.”
“These violations of the law cannot be criminally prosecuted because the applicable statute of limitations has expired,” Miyares’ report said.
A former spokesperson for Northam was not immediately reachable for comment on Wednesday.
Bennett’s attorney, Diane Toscano, issued a statement on her behalf. In all parole cases, Judge Bennett had only one vote for her on the board. This report targeted her badly. Judge Bennett is a dedicated public servant, and for decades she has served on the bench, on parole boards, and as a respected attorney in the Virginia Beach legal community. She makes no attempt to condemn her change.
The report claimed that one released inmate had committed 15 new violent felonies and 134 had been released from prison, resulting in at least 10 victims of crime.
Virginia abolished parole in 1995, but those convicted of crimes earlier were still eligible for early release. Those who remained in prison in 2020 were often serving lengthy sentences for violent crimes.
That year, the Northam administration encouraged prisons to release elderly and sick inmates when possible to avoid a concentration of coronavirus cases in state facilities. Miyares’ report argues that the coronavirus was not the reason for releasing this group of inmates.
One of the inmates the commission decided to release was Vincent L. Martin, 63, who was sentenced to life in prison for the 1979 murder of Richmond police officer Michael P. Connors. Martin’s release was delayed, but progressed in June.
In August 2020, the State Inspector General issued a six-page report urging the board, particularly Bennett, to notify the victim’s family and local prosecutors of the pending release within at least 21 days. He said he did not follow state law. Forward. By then, former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman had replaced Bennett as parole chairman. She issued a detailed rebuttal to the inspector general’s findings.
Yonkin issued an executive order All members of the Board of Directors on their first day of office one year ago. In anticipation of the move, the member resigned before his appointment.
This year, Republicans at the General Assembly introduced several bills aimed at increasing the transparency of boards by requiring regular reporting and setting guidelines for conduct.