Statement of RPV Chairman John Whitbeck on McAuliffe Rights Restoration Order

RPV Chairman John Whitbeck issued the following statement:

“It was a Republican governor who began the long overdue work of restoring the rights of nonviolent felons. Few if any disagree that those who have paid their debts to society should be allowed full participation in that society. Mercy requires that we as Virginians be a Commonwealth of second chances. But there are limits.”

“Governor McAuliffe could easily have excluded those who have committed heinous acts of violence from this order, yet he chose not to.  His decision to issue a blanket restoration, without regard to the nature of the crimes committed doesn’t speak of mercy. Rather, it speaks of political opportunism.”

“This blanket action, undertaken for such blatant political purposes, sullies the hard-won second chances of those who have worked so hard to overcome their mistakes. Restoration of rights should be a celebration of overcoming, not a transparent effort to win votes.”