FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21st, 2020
Contact: Georgia Allin
DELEGATE MIKE MULLIN ANNOUNCES CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM BILL FOR SPECIAL SESSION
Newport News, VA – Delegate Mike Mullin (D-Newport News) announced today that he is carrying HB5062 to give prosecutors the power to drop charges they think are unjust.
The bill would allow a prosecutor to dismiss a charge with the defendant’s consent. It is in response to situations in Norfolk, Arlington, and Fairfax where judges refused to dismiss marijuana possession charges when elected prosecutors asked them to. The bill has received the support of the Virginia Progressive Prosecutors for Justice. A similar bill, SB5033, is being carried by Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax.)
“When an elected Commonwealth’s Attorney decides that a charge should be dismissed, an unelected judge should not be able to stand in the way,” said Delegate Mullin, “but that’s what we’ve seen happen here in Virginia. Our Commonwealth’s Attorneys should have the ability to make that decision.”
“This bill represents an opportunity to make our criminal justice system work better for all Virginians,” said Delegate Mullin. “Reforms such as this are an important step for equity and justice in the Commonwealth.”
Delegate Mullin serves the 93rd District which includes the City of Williamsburg and parts of Newport News, James City County, and York County. He serves on the House Courts of Justice Committee, as well as the Labor and Commerce and Rules Committees in the House of Delegates. He has worked as a prosecutor for more than a decade and handled cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Since his election in 2016, Delegate Mullin has helped pass a number of criminal justice bills, including legislation to help end the school-to-prison pipeline.
A link to the full text of HB5062 can be found here