Did Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe just send a sobering message about the commonwealth's criminal justice system? Logical deduction says he did.
The justification given for McAuliffe's blanket restoration of civil rights for felons is provided in a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch article:
"The McAuliffe administration has particularly emphasized the disproportionate impact on African-Americans [of the state constitutional provision denying ex-felons the right to vote], saying the life disenfranchisement for felons has roots in post-Civil War attempts to suppress black votes."
As lawyers say, this is the gravamen of their argument.
Despite the post-Civil War assertions, the 1830 Virginia Constitution -- pre-Civil War -- said, "any person convicted of any infamous offense" cannot vote.
The term "infamous offense" is legalese, covering many felonies.