prison reform

Make no mistake, Virginia Democrats have a good chance of winning the House of Delegates on Tuesday.

The Democrats’ leader in the lower house of the General Assembly, who would become speaker if their party wins a paltry two seats, has a checkered past. A well-documented history of lying, deceiving and trafficking in illicit drugs, leading to the victimization of countless Virginians.

Don Scott (District 80) was elected minority leader last summer. His predecessor, former House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, is downright moderate by comparison.

Before Scott’s foray into the cutthroat world of politics, he became well-versed in drug trafficking and deception. During law school, he sold crack cocaine and lied about it. He attributed his law degree to the success of that deception.

Scott’s double-life came to an abrupt end, however, after federal agents caught him trying to flush thousands in drug money down a toilet in a Denny’s restroom.

Scott was sentenced to 10 years but was released after serving seven and a half years. Later, Bob McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia and a Republican, restored Scott’s voting rights. This act of charity by his opponents paved the way for Scott to become one of Virginia’s most prominent and influential politicians.

After Scott won his first election in 2021, he introduced criminal justice reforms that would release inmates at 60 if they had served at least 10 years of their sentence and inmates at 65 if they had served at least five years. The legislation would have applied to nearly all felonies, except those classified as “class one” (premeditated murder or sexual assault of a child under 15).

Although many Democrats balked at the time, politics have a funny way of changing unexpectedly, and support within Scott’s own party for the once-radical proposals has steadily drifted in his direction.

The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak has more on the latest twists and turns on the campaign trail and what they portend for the Commonwealth of Virginia:

The Parole Board already had the ability to grant “geriatric release,” but Scott wanted to make it automatic, releasing the inmates even if the Parole Board’s review of the individual circumstances found that the inmate posed a continuing threat. It would mean that someone could murder someone at age 60 with the assurance that they would be out five years later.

Such radical schemes were thwarted in 2020 because even though the Democrats controlled the legislature, some were moderate Democrats who objected. Republicans regained control in 2021, and relegated to rabble-rousing opposition rather than governance, Democrats veered to the Left. Radical candidates beat out more moderate Democrats in primaries.

That means that if Democrats retake control of the narrowly divided chamber, which election analysts view as a definite possibility, it will be a different vanguard of politicos like Scott who are in charge.

The state Senate is currently controlled by Democrats, but that too is in play. To enact his agenda, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin hopes Republicans will hold the House and retake the Senate.

The current majority leader in the Virginia Senate is Louise Lucas. Officers arrested Lucas during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020. One man at the demonstration suffered injuries after a Confederate statue pulled down by the crowd hit him.

Lucas retained Scott as her lawyer, and the charges against her were subsequently dismissed.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. It first appeared in American Liberty News.