Well that was a trip. Allow me to share the story of how we ended up here today, with @MeekMill, at the signing of a historic bill to end mass supervision in Virginia (1)
Last Summer, @JusticeFwdVa & @DonScott757 started talking about probation reform. It was a top priority for both of us. Personally, the issue was on my radar for two reasons: 1st, the way mass supervision ruined my clients’ lives; 2nd, @MeekMill’s inspiring story and activism (2)
As the year progressed, I had little to do other than go on long walks & fight to reform the criminal justice system. These activities often coincided, including on one fateful November night, when I was out walking through Rosslyn & made the connection: we needed Meek’s help (3)
I immediately called my sister, @MissKelHaywood who runs @JusticeFwdVa’s social media (and also knows a lot of people) and said “hey Kel, do you know anyone who knows Meek Mill?” She pauses, then says she’s going to a party the following weekend in Philly & he might be there (4)
I said hmm, I didn’t think that would work. She then says, “I’ve got it: Twitter.” “

“YES,” respond. And for the next month, my sis starts plotting the very best time and best Tweet to get his attention. She felt we had two, maybe three shots at it. (5)
Lo and behold, it’s the night after Christmas, and Kel calls the shot—the time was now. We draft a tweet asking Meek if he wanted to end mass supervision in Virginia, we hit send, and then waited. An hour or two later, bingo: “Let’s do it.”
So much other work went into the bill, but standing up near the podium today w/so many ppl more important than myself, watching @GovernorVA sign truly transformative legislation that will help thousands of disadvantaged Virginians, I couldn’t help but think of how it started (7)
In turn, I couldn’t help but think of how it ALL started: @JusticeFwdVa, our Va CJR movement, all the historic legislation passed the last 2yrs. Change begins w/an idea but it never manifests without action. How cool to see the fruits of that hard work on a day like this. (8/x)
Very classy press release from @REFORM. I wish them all the best as they try to carry this momentum to other states across the country. Very fun celebrating with you this morning.


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More from @BradleyRHaywood

1 Jun
THREAD: Va Dems were criminal justice reform all stars over the past year, yet Terry McAuliffe, their likely gov. nominee, doesn’t have the best record on CJR. Advocates are anxious to know if he'll be an ally. Does his CJR platform assuage those concerns? Let’s find out...

First, a link & some optimism: even if his proposals are underwhelming (keep reading...), he’s done good things in the past. Example: in '19, he helped elect several progressive prosecutors. Didn't just endorse; he showed up, canvassed & did the work. 2/24 terrymcauliffe.com/issues/justice/
Also, as you’ve likely heard, he restored voting rights to thousands of returning citizens, and stuck his neck out in the process. That took guts, so credit is due (I have, in fact, cited Howell v. McAuliffe in my own quest for justice in the Arlington County Cir. Ct.)

Read 24 tweets
30 May
Been seeing a lot of "mugshot shaming" from Va. police dep'ts recently, incl. this example from Culpeper yesterday. I don't know how someone can look at these two faces (I made the redactions) and see anything other than the despair of addiction & a desperate need for help

1/5 Image
Yet w/this single act of public humiliation, the Culpeper PD has made any path they might have to recovery & restoration that much more difficult. The photos are now a permanent part of the internet, available to schools, employers, child care providers, pretty much anyone.

Envision a future we should all hope for the mother of this child: it's 5 yrs from now, she's successfully completed drug treatment, maintained sobriety, regained custody of her kid, went back to college, earned an associates degree, and is trying to join the workforce.

Read 5 tweets
12 Apr
THREAD: What if I told you that almost everything Off'r Gutierrez did in his interaction with Lt. Nazario finds at least some justification in the law? This is what we need to be talking about right now, because if we don’t, nothing will change.

People want the simple fix: training, bodycams, “bad apples”/duty to intervene,etc. That’s also what police & the tough on crime crowd want you to focus on. Just don’t take away their power! Yet it’s their power—and acquiescence by courts & policymakers—that’s the problem

We’ve given police too much to do. And we’ve given them too much authority to do it. That’s how you end up with Lt. Nazario “lawfully” stopped, “lawfully” ordered out of his vehicle, and “lawfully” subjected to force when he “failed to comply.” Let’s flesh that out…

Read 17 tweets
12 Feb
Today in random acts of cruelty: a woman convicted of shoplifting in Arlington, who is pregnant and due in May, was sentenced to three months in jail—i.e. possibly sentenced to have her baby in jail—despite both the prosecutor and defense attorney recommending no jail time.
Also, to be clear: these weren’t my office’s cases. We’re not “oversharers”: we were just present when the sentencings went down.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jan
THREAD, PT DEUX -- it was a lovely long weekend, I’m feeling rested and energized, and lucky for you I’ve got some more great criminal justice policy ideas to share. Real exciting stuff, I promise. Let’s flesh these out: 1/9
Ok, so to reduce unnecessary contacts between police and people/communities of color, here’s what we’re going to do: end the war on drugs. 2/9
Right now we needlessly make felons out of 10,000+ Virginians per year for narcotics possession, so for that we’re going to end the war on drugs. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
19 Jan
THREAD in which I explain how Virginia actually repealed the death penalty in 2004, with a delayed enactment clause to 2021 (and why we can solve a lot MORE problems by giving public defenders adequate pay and resources). Ready? Let’s go.... 1/13
Virginia has slowly but steadily gone from the most execution-happy state in the US to achieving a de facto moratorium on the death penalty. This process appears to have started sometime in the 2000s. 2/13
Here are the number of executions by decade in Virginia:

- 1990s: 65
- 2000s: 32
- 2010s: 8

There hasn’t been a single execution in Virginia in almost 4 years now. 3/13
Read 14 tweets

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