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Steve Deaton: Too Many Minor Crimes Felonies - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Steve Deaton: Too Many Minor Crimes Felonies

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The man vying to replace Dave Chapman as Charlottesville's commonwealth's attorney says the office should change the way it thinks about felony cases.

Steve Deaton says too many minor crimes are being prosecuted as felonies.

In an effort to reduce that number, Deaton wants the commonwealth's attorney to pursue felony convictions only for violent crimes or those with prison sentences of more than a year. All others, he says, should be dropped to misdemeanors.

"If it's going to call for no jail time - a lot of them do that - or a little jail time, less than 12 months, then strong consideration should be given to making that one a misdemeanor," Deaton said.

Last week, Governor Bob McDonnell issued an executive order to streamline the process that restores voting rights to nonviolent felons. Deaton says his plan expands upon that idea, and wants Charlottesville to take the lead.

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