Tommy Wright: Let’s talk about restoring felons’ rights

Published 12:00 pm Friday, April 14, 2023

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Tommy WrightLast week Governor Youngkin’s team made it known that they were returning to the Warner-Kaine model of felon rights restoration and Virginia Democrats immediately cried foul, accusing the Governor of everything from voter suppression to racism.

Governor Youngkin’s actions were to return Virginia’s process to where it was under Former Virginia Democratic Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

It was only under Governor McDonnell that any sort of “restoration” began, and only then for non-violent felons who had completed their entire sentence, parole, probation, and paid their fines.

Governor McAuliffe expanded that to automatic restoration for all felons upon release, no parole, fine or other conditions required.

Returning to the previous standard ensures that felons have a greater incentive to complete their sentences in total.

Just as we learned when we removed driver’s license revocation as a punishment for failure to pay fines and court costs, without sufficient incentive, criminals will not complete their sentences.

The door hasn’t been closed for felons to have their rights restored. Virginia Democrats who cast pro-criminal votes had better be ready to defend them because we’re going to make them own every single one of them.

Even local governments run by Democrats realize that it’s time for law and order in Virginia again.

Our way is easy to understand. Commit a felony? Go to jail for a long time. That’s one-way Republicans are committed to safer communities for every Virginian.


Virginia Democrats have leaped to the defense of the three Tennessee state Representatives who were either expelled or threatened with expulsion last week.

Democrats seem most angry that these members were booted after participating in an “anti-gun protest”. The Democratic members were booted after taking over the well of the House — members presented their bills from the front of the chamber — and leading the gallery in chants.

In doing so, they made themselves, not the victims of the shooting, but the center of attention.

At the same time, lawmakers were accosted as they attempted to leave the floor to use the restroom and had to be protected by state troopers. A mob of people attempted to surge into the chamber, held back only by police.

The one member who wasn’t expelled expressed contrition for her actions, the other two did not.

All of this comes against a backdrop of six dead Tennesseans — three children — killed by a mentally disturbed woman who planned her actions ahead of time.

Not one sane person wants to see a family suffer from gun violence. Words simply cannot describe the pain brought upon a family from an act so evil, but the way Democrats act when their liberal laws do not pass is not civil or mature. The party of peace and love causes the most chaos in our country, remember that this November.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at or (804) 698-1061.