Dinsmore & Shohl’s Santarelli Advises on Rights Restoration Committee

May 30, 2013News Releases
Dinsmore & Shohl Partner Don Santarelli serves as a key advisor on Virginia’s Rights Restoration Advisory Committee which provided recommendations to Governor Bob McDonnell on how to streamline the process for non-violent felons to become active citizens. In March, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli appointed Santarelli to serve on the panel along with six other members.

“It was a difficult consideration because the Virginia Constitution is quite clear in the exclusive grant of the Governor’s clemency power,” said Santarelli. “We could not recommend an automatic process because the Constitution requires individual consideration by the Governor in granting clemency.”

The expedited process will no longer require an application for rights to be restored. Non-violent felons will be automatically considered, but Governor McDonnell will ultimately restore voting and other civil rights on an individual basis. The change will be effective July 15, 2013.

Santarelli is a Partner at Dinsmore’s Washington D.C. office. He focuses his practice in legislative, regulatory and enforcement matters, government contracts and corporate governance with respect to national and international security issues. Throughout his career, he has served five times as a Presidential appointee, including as Associate Deputy Attorney General, Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and as Special Counsel to the President. He also serves as Chairman of the National Committee on Community Corrections.