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OPINION: Parole Board Frees Murderers

By J. Garren Shipley
Virginia House Republicans

As of yesterday, violent felons will be eligible for early release in Virginia. Below is a shocking account from former journalist Kerry Dougherty. In this case, concerns for the victim’s family fell by the wayside.  

From the story:

“In 2012, Debra Scribner, 58, was convicted of first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a murder in connection with the shooting death of her son-in-law Eric Wynn in Halifax County.

“She was sentenced to 23 years in prison plus 6 months.

“That was eight short years ago.

“Scribner’s now 66, back at home on Virginia’s Southside and prosecutors say neighbors report seeing her relaxing in her yard.

“This felon was freed earlier this month by Gov. Ralph Northam’s parole board which is breathlessly throwing open cell doors all over the commonwealth during this pandemic.

“State officials want you to believe they are releasing only non-violent criminals and those with less than one year to serve on their sentences.

“Debra Scribner is proof that this is not true.

“In 2011 she helped mastermind a plot to kill her son-in-law. Her 15-year-old grandson was the trigger man, but Scribner helped him and her daughter hide the corpse and burn the evidence. According to news reports at the time, the women urged the teenager to do the killing because, as a juvenile, he’d be treated leniently.

“So eager was the parole board to spring Scribner, that it neglected to give prosecutors the required  21-day written notice of its decision. It appears the board also failed to notify the victim’s family, another legal requirement.

“On Monday, Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Q. Martin wrote to the chair of the parole board, objecting to Scribner’s release. She asked the board to reconsider its decision.

“Martin says the letter she received from the parole board notifying her that Scribner was being paroled was dated April 6th. By then, Scribner was out of prison. Martin had no time to enlighten board members with facts that would have argued against the release.”

Read the rest of this disturbing account here.

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