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Democrats hope Youngkin would give "Second Look" bill a good look

Circuit courts across Virginia might start reconsidering prison sentences if a bill now under consideration is signed by the governor. The process would include input from prosecutors and victims, although some victims are against the idea. After a series of victims of violent crimes testified against the bill in a House committee.

Republican Delegate A.C. Cordoza of Hampton switched his yes vote to a no. "I like the idea of giving people second chances," Cordoza said. "However, this is just not ready. The bill itself is just not ready. It doesn't adequately address victims, as we heard from that very difficult testimony from all those victims."

 The bill would allow for reconsideration of sentences after 15 years, 20 years or 25 years depending on the severity of the crime. If Democrats get the bill through the General Assembly, it'll go to Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Senator Creigh Deeds is a Democrat from Charlottesville says he hopes the governor signs it. "I would try to appeal to the governor's Christian nature and ask him to consider Christ on the cross when he forgave one of the people on the cross beside him and said I'll see you in heaven this afternoon. Everybody is entitled to a second chance," Deeds said. "As Christians and as people, we understand that."

The bill is expected to be considered on the Senate floor as early as Monday afternoon.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.