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Gillespie proposes lighter punishments for certain crimes

(Ed Gillespie's Facebook page)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republican candidate for Virginia governor Ed Gillespie is unveiling a series of criminal justice reform proposals that would lighten punishments for certain crimes.

Gillespie said at a Richmond barbershop Wednesday that the state needed to rethink some of its tough-on-crime measures and make it easier for convicted criminals to reenter society.

People caught stealing less than $500 would face a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony charge under Gillespie's plan. The current limit is $200. The GOP-controlled General Assembly killed the same proposed increase of the felony threshold earlier this year when made by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Gillespie would seek to limit criminal penalties for possession of marijuana until the third offense. His opponent, Democrat Ralph Northam, supports decriminalizing marijuana.

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