The Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has awarded its Champion of Justice award to state Sen. William M. Stanley Jr., R-Moneta, noting his efforts to promote reform of criminal discovery rules. The VACDL also praised Stanley’s criminal defense practice.
“Sen. Stanley’s razor-sharp intellect and formidable persuasive abilities have prevented injustices and promoted mercy for his clients for over two decades,” the group said in a news release.
The VACDL Champion of Justice Award honors a Virginian who has proven to be a champion for a fairer and more just criminal justice system in the commonwealth, through judicial actions, policy actions or community-based reforms. This is the first time the award has been given since 2006.
Stanley was specifically recognized for his leadership in winning passage of new discovery rules. VACDL also pointed to his persistent advocacy for an end to suspension of driving privileges for failure to pay court costs. Stanley also promoted relief for those convicted based on so-called “junk science,” advanced discovery of police body cam video and urged reform of penalties for first-time marijuana offenders.
The VACDL awarded its “Drewry Award” to defense attorney and former VACDL president Douglas A. Ramseur. Ramseur has worked for 17 years as a Virginia capital defender. He has now opened his own private practice in Richmond
The award is named for the late B. Leigh Drewry Jr. of Lynchburg. The awards were presented at the group’s meeting last month in Harrisonburg.