Public Comments for 02/06/2023 Courts of Justice
Last Name: Simmons Locality: Portsmouth

A Second Look should not exclude a crime of your choice “Murder”. What makes rape or the rape of a child, home invasion, kidnapping more acceptable of a second chance than murder? Victims of rape will suffer psychological trauma the rest of their life. Second Look should release decision-making based only on considerations after incarceration, such as program completion, disciplinary record, and an individual’s preparation to safely return to the community. Locking an individual up at the age of 18-25 and keeping them incarcerated after 20-25 years is cruel and unjust. That person they were at 18-25 no longer exists. Virginia locks up individuals and takes their rights to be a human away. No data or evidence shows that keeping an individual locked 40 plus years serves any purpose other than making “the person with the power to do so” feel good at that moment. Amend the bill for the men and women who have been sentenced to 50 plus years, shown model behavior, rehabilitation and proved they are ready to contribute back to society. The only exclusion there should be, are offenders that show they are still a public safety threat to the community. Make modifications to the bill that are reasonable for a second chance to all! - Served 15 years; or - 25 years or younger – served 15 years - 26 years older – served 20 years - Of uniform good behavior the last 5 years – excluding violent offenses or violent offense against staff since incarceration. - No release of a serial killer - No release of habitual rapist - No release of acts of terrorism Keeping men and women behind bars for harsh long sentences has not stopped crimes from being committed. It will never stop crimes from being committed. It will only continue to mass incarcerate the prison system. Out of the 30,000 plus incarcerated only 2,500 would qualify. Victims of crimes committed in Virginia support the second look bill, because everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance. Sincerely, Diane Simmons 3. Has not been convicted of aggravated murder in violation of §18.2-31 or first degree murder under Article 1 (§18.2-30 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 or had a second or subsequent conviction of second degree murder under Article 1 (§18.2-30 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 -PREJUDICE - “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” -PROVERBS 3:27

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