American Civil Liberties Unnion

governor's office

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe says his administration has restored the voting and civil rights of more than 10,000 Virginians with criminal records.

The Democratic governor said Monday that more Virginians have had their rights restored under his watch than under any other governor in a four-year term. 

That process allows an ex-offender to vote, run for public office and serve on juries.

McAuliffe has made several changes to the process, including allowing residents to submit their application before they've paid their court fees.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A proposal to decriminalize marijuana possession in Virginia has been quickly snuffed out.

The Republican-controlled state Senate Courts of Justice Committee rejected Sen. Adam Ebbin's decriminalization bill Wednesday on a party-line 9-5 vote.

The measure would have eliminated jail time for possession of marijuana, instead making it punishable by a maximum $100 civil penalty.

Ebbin, an Alexandria Democrat, argued that criminalization of marijuana has failed to reduce use of the drug and has made criminals out of nonviolent citizens.