Arlington Prosecutor Deghani-Tafti Battles to Not Prosecute Marijuana Possession Violations

Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Deghani-Tafti is in an unusual battle for a prosecutor — she’s fighting for a lower penalty to be imposed on a defendant alleged to have been transporting 50 pounds of marijuana at the Reagan National Airport. According to reporting by the Washington Post, Judge Daniel Fiore II refused to accept a plea deal arranged by Deghani-Tafti, a move that also forced Fiore to recuse himself from further involvement in the case. Now, Deghani-Tafti is arguing to have the original deal applied — one that would give the defendant probation with a possibility of having his felony charges purged.

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New Wave of Prosecutors Pushing to Ignore Sections of Law

Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill on Wednesday requiring judges to dismiss cases when both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree. The bill was born after Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood (D) announced that he would not be prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases, according to The Virginian-Pilot. The bill is an example of a national push to allow prosecutors discretion to ignore whole sections of law, according to Heritage Foundation Legal Fellow and former prosecutor Zack Smith.

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Eight Commonwealth’s Attorneys Pledge to Not Enforce Pro-Life Laws

Eight Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys pledged that they will not enforce any laws criminalizing abortions. The pledge was signed by over 60 prosecutors and state attorneys general and expresses concern over attempts to pass laws limiting abortion. The Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP) organization published the pledge on October 14, as Congress holds confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

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