Obenshain Releases Statement on RTD Bail Report

May 16, 2022

New Report Shows Democrats’ 2021 Bail Law Eroding Public Safety

HARRISONBURG – Today, Senator Mark Obenshain (R-ROCKINGHAM) released the following statement:

The report out today from the Richmond Times-Dispatch regarding violent criminals being released with little to no bond is deeply disturbing. Senate Democrats in 2021 pursued liberal so-called criminal justice priorities with such fervor that they ignored clear warnings that Virginians would suffer the consequences.

When we warned Democrats, who unanimously supported the measure, that this would be the result, they demurred. Now they say the judges must be wrong. That, however, is of little comfort to victims of rapes, robberies and other violent crimes whose attackers are being released immediately after arrest.

The RTD reports that in Chesterfield County, 48 people charged with assaulting a family member were released without having to post bond in the past 60 days. Additionally, criminals charged with assaulting police officers and malicious wounding have been released within a span of two months in Chesterfield County.

These are a result of the 2021 Democrat law that removed all presumptions against granting bail to criminal defendants, irrespective of the seriousness of their crime. Republicans sounded the alarm then and I opposed this bill when it was before us last year.

I hope that the Democrats in the Senate who pushed for this bill will think twice about opposing efforts to reinstate presumptions against bail for serious offenses after seeing these consequences. We warned against this sweeping approach, but Democrats insisted. Now it’s time to fix this horrible mistake and refocus on protecting the safety of our neighborhoods and Virginia families,” Obenshain said.


Senator Obenshain represents the twenty-sixth district in the Senate of Virginia.  The district includes the city of Harrisonburg and the counties of Warren, Shenandoah, Page, Rappahannock and Rockingham (part).