"I want to thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their work during today's special session.
"As a former Commonwealth's Attorney and a legislator who has spent nearly two decades working on public safety issues, I understand the challenges to our courts presented by the Supreme Court's ruling in the Melendez-Diaz case. Today's action will help ensure that Virginia's prosecutors have the tools they need to keep our communities safe and to make sure that criminals are not able to slip through the cracks on legal technicalities.
"I also am pleased with today's unanimous legislative support for a reasonable compensation package for Arthur Whitfield, who served 22 years in prison for crimes he did not commit. Mr. Whitfield ultimately was cleared by DNA evidence, and I have been proud to have been a lead sponsor of legislative efforts to make sure that Virginia remains a national leader in the responsible use of DNA evidence."