December 9, 2020
December 9, 2020
Today Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced he would be running for another shot at his old job. With the Virginia House and Senate now in Democrat control, the former Clinton advisor and Washington insider can’t resist the temptation of accumulating more power.
While McAuliffe’s partisan brow-beaten style of governing may be suitable by Washington, DC standards, the people of Virginia are still reeling from his tenure as Governor, which left our Commonwealth mired in partisan gridlock and our communities less safe.
McAuliffe fired a sitting member of the Virginia Parole Board and appointed Adrianne Bennett to expedite his efforts in releasing convicted murderers and rapists from prison. Bennett and other parole board members came under intense scrutiny earlier this year after an Inspector General’s investigation concluded that they violated state law in releasing convicted cop-killer Vincent Martin.
The Center Square: “According to employees cited in the report, former board Chairman Adrianne Bennett was vocal about not wanting to contact victims or families of victims during reviews, especially in the review of Martin, because they would provide arguments against the prisoner’s release. One employee claimed Bennett said no further victim notification was needed if the victim was dead, despite the legal definition of victim including members of the victim’s immediate family and other interested parties.”
The Inspector General’s report has not stopped the Northam-McAuliffe Parole Board from their hastily rendered decisions to release convicted murders from Virginia prisons. Just a day before McAuliffe’s announcement, the Virginia Parole Board released convicted murderer Gregory Allen Joyner. Joyner was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years after being convicted of first degree murder and attempted rape of Sarah Jayne Jamison in 1988.
Members of the Jamison family joined Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison in a prepared statement after Joyner’s release from prison:
“When Joyner murdered Sarah it was for life. Why should he be released after only serving a part of his life? His sentence was for punishment not rehabilitation therefore he still has 30 or 40 years left on his sentence. His release is a big mistake. He is also a registered sex offender. If he was sentenced today, he would never get out of prison. Joyner has not expressed remorse to my knowledge. When he was photographed going to trial for the murder and rape of Sarah, he smiled and said “get my good side.” He needs to stay in prison for the good of the community, where ever goes.”—Dell Jamison, Father of Sarah Jamison
While McAuliffe touted this as one of his accomplishments as Governor, he failed to mention the harmful implications of these careless actions. McAuliffe restored the voting rights to independent congressional candidate Nathan Larson. Larson, who was barred from running for public office under plea deal for sending the U.S. Secret Service a letter threatening to kill Former President George W. Bush, has expressed pro-pedophilia and incest views while also calling it it “normal” for men to be attracted to underage women.
McAuliffe also restored the rights of another sex offender with political aspirations. Kenneth Browning of Smyth County was made eligible to run for the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017 after being charged with using a computer to facilitate child sex offenses.
Fortunately, in a 4-3 ruling by the Virginia State Supreme Court, it was determined that McAuliffe didn’t have the authority for such a blanketed proclamation:
NPR: “The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that Gov. Terry McAuliffe doesn’t have the authority for a blanket restoration of voting rights to the state’s felons. McAuliffe had issued a sweeping executive order in April that affected 206,000 ex-offenders in the state….
‘Never before have any of the prior 71 Virginia Governors issued a clemency order of any kind — including pardons, reprieves, commutations, and restoration orders — to a class of unnamed felons without regard for the nature of the crimes or any other individual circumstances relevant to the request,” the majority wrote. “To be sure, no Governor of this Commonwealth, until now, has even suggested that such a power exists. And the only Governors who have seriously considered the question concluded that no such power exists.’”