Inspector General Report: Northam Parole Board Violated the Law by Releasing Convicted Cop Killer

Inspector General Report: Northam Parole Board Violated the Law by Releasing Convicted Cop Killer

Gov. Northam’s lack of courage to stand up to his own hand-picked parole board is a disgrace to the people of Virginia.

August 6, 2020

The Virginia Office of Inspector General has finally released the full report of their investigation into the impulsive release of convicted cop killer Vincent Martin. The report comes after a weeks-long battle between the Northam Administration and state lawmakers, local prosecutors and the victim’s family. The Inspector General’s Office released a report in late July but that was almost completely redacted, blacking out nearly six pages of text and leaving only few sentences un-redacted.

In April, Democrat Commonwealth’s Attorney, Collette McEachin sent a letter to the Virginia State Parole Board asking them to reconsider the release of Martin who, at the time, was serving a life sentence for murdering a Richmond City Police officer in 1979. 

Gov. Northam’s lack of courage to stand up to his own hand-picked parole board is a disgrace to the people of Virginia. The people of Virginia deserve more than head-scratching and shoulder-shrugging from our Commonwealth’s chief executive. – Tucker Davis, Virginia Rising Action Executive Director

Virginia House of Delegates Minority Leader Todd Gilbert is calling on Gov. Northam to fire the members of the Virginia Parole Board.

The results are shocking. Both previous and current leadership of the Board were actively working for Martin’s release, rather than seeking impartial justice. These two officials worked to systematically exclude the testimony of anyone who opposed his release, including family members. They violated Parole Board policy, and they violated the law in utterly unjustifiable ways.

We call for the resignation of all current members of the Virginia Parole Board. Should the Parole Board members fail to resign, we call on Governor Northam to fire them, following the precedent set by Governor Warner in 2002.
— House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert

Virginia State Senator Mark Obenshain, who has been a vocal critic of the Northam Administration’s Parole Board, says the report shows the lengths board members went to keep law enforcement, victims and their families in the dark from upcoming board decisions.

[Gov. Northam] and his Parole Board have pursued a political agenda at the expense of transparency and the rights of victims. It has made VA less safe. The unredacted OSIG report is finally available and it shows how they tried to keep victims, their families and law enforcement from learning of upcoming parole decisions, just because they might object to their release. The members of the VPB should resign or be fired.—Senator Mark D. Obenshain

With a legislative agenda geared toward defunding and weakening our law enforcement community, holding Gov. Northam and his leftist allies in the General Assembly accountable for their callous and divisive policies is more important than ever before.

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