CONTRIBUTE

Help us reach our goal

CONTRIBUTE

Help us reach our goal
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About Ramin

A Longtime Champion for Norfolk

Ramin Fatehi, a Hampton Roads native, has served as a Virginia Supreme Court law clerk, a public defender, and since 2006 as state and federal prosecutor, the last eight years right here in in the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Ramin is a Proud Democrat and Norfolk’s champion for criminal justice reform.  Ramin has led the charge in Norfolk to decriminalize and legalize marijuana possession, to abolish cash bail, to abolish the jury trial penalty, and to make the justice system honor the principle that Black Lives Matter.

Ramin has worked every day for a safer and more just Norfolk by treating defendants fairly, victims with compassion, and the community with the commitment to its values.

Ramin is ready to take the torch from Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood and to lead one of the largest and busiest Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Offices in Virginia.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney is the only part of the criminal justice system directly accountable to the people: directly accountable to you.

Ramin asks you for your support and your vote in the Democratic Primary on June 8, 2021.

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney in Norfolk

Chair of the Norfolk Office’s Criminal Justice Reform Working Group

Special Assistant United States Attorney in Charlottesville

Assistant Public Defender in Richmond

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A Statement of Principles

Ramin is a proud Democrat, a believer in justice for all, and a proven advocate for justice and safety here in Norfolk.

Ramin believes in criminal justice reform, which honors these self-evident truths:

  • Every person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
  • Poverty is not a crime, and we should not criminalize poverty.
  • The legacy of systemic racism – from redlining to segregation to community disinvestment – continues to harm public safety.
  • Children should be treated as children, and the School to Prison Pipeline should be shut down.
  • Only guilty people should be convicted, and wrongfully convicted people should be set free.
  • Crime victims should be treated with dignity, respect, and compassion.
  • The government has an obligation to address poverty, mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness, and the other root causes of crime that contribute to involvement in the criminal justice system.
  • Jail or prison should be the last resort when there are no less-restrictive alternatives or where public safety demands it.
  • Incarcerated persons should have access to programs that will help them successfully reenter the community and should earn credit toward their release for participating in those programs.
  • The death penalty should be abolished.
  • Every guilty person should serve every day, month, or year of the sentence necessary to protect the public.
  • No guilty person should serve a day longer than the sentence necessary.

Ramin believes in the 21 Principles for the 21st Century Prosecutor.

Ramin believes that Black Lives Matter.

Ramin is a longtime member of our community.  He will be involved, accessible, and transparent.  His door will always be open for anyone who wants to speak to him about the administration of justice in Norfolk.

If you want to know what Ramin would do as Norfolk’s next Commonwealth’s Attorney, see why Ramin’s record shows that he is ready to lead and ready to fight for you.

Black Lives Matter

Building on Success

Criminal Justice Reform

Ramin is proud of Norfolk’s leadership on criminal-justice reform.  From Norfolk’s policy of no longer asking for cash bail to its fight in the Virginia Supreme Court to end marijuana-possession prosecutions to its leading advocacy in the General Assembly, Norfolk has led the way in Virginia to a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system.

Therapeutic Court Dockets

Norfolk has long been a leader in alternatives to incarceration, having been either the first or one of the first localities in Virginia to found a Drug Court for those suffering from substance-use disorders, Mental Health Court for those suffering from mental illness, and Reentry Court for citizens returning to society.  Norfolk is also among the first to implement a Veterans Track in our alternative dockets to offer a helping hand to defendants whose PTSD and other service-related traumas have led them to be criminally charged.  Ramin will continue Norfolk’s pioneering support for these important programs.

Victim Services and Advocacy

Norfolk has been a leader in providing services for victims and witnesses of crimes, with over a dozen victim-witness advocates on staff and years of significant grants for victim/witness advocacy from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.  Under Ramin’s leadership, that staff will continue to serve Norfolk’s crime victims with compassion and understanding.

In 2019, the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the YWCA, the Norfolk Police Department, and the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, has opened the first Family Justice Center in Virginia, a landmark achievement in victim-centered services.

The Family Justice Center allows victims of domestic and sexual violence to receive services, undergo treatment, and, if they wish, to pursue charges at a single location, helping to address their trauma and to begin the process of healing and closure.

Community Outreach

Since 2011, the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has taken its services to the community, first with a satellite office in Ward’s Corner, then in Berkley, and now in Military Circle, where members of the community may stop in, speak to a prosecutor or a victim/witness advocate, and seek help as victims or witnesses of crimes, whether or not there is a pending court proceeding.  The Office also participates in countless events in the community every year.

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Office Priorities

Community Prosecution

Norfolk currently assigns prosecutors to prosecute a single kind of case, often for years at a time.  This system causes prosecutors to burn out and prevents prosecutors from seeing the bigger picture of the activity driving crime in Norfolk.

Ramin will implement a system of community-based prosecution, where prosecutors would be assigned to handle cases from one specific area of Norfolk.  Prosecutors will be able to build partnerships with the residents of individual neighborhoods, allowing prosecutors to be responsive to the needs of the communities they serve rather than reacting to crimes outside of their context.

Every Norfolk civic league will have a designated prosecutor who will serve as a point of contact to address concerns regarding crime and prosecution within that neighborhood.  Citizens will be able to voice their concerns with a member of the Office whom they will know by name.

Fighting Implicit Bias, Racial Disparity, Sexism, and Discrimination

Implicit bias, the long shadow of systemic racism, and mass incarceration are real.  Under Ramin’s leadership, prosecutors will undergo continuing training on these important topics and on sexism, LGBTQ+ sensitivity, and the root causes of crime so that they can, to the extent possible, ensure that they prosecute cases on their merits free of any bias or prejudice.

Faster Review of Police Misconduct

Norfolk’s current system of reviewing police shootings and police misconduct takes too long, leaving both officers and the community without prompt answers to whether a shooting is legally justified and necessary or whether an officer’s actions are wrongful or even criminal.  Ramin will build trust in the community by giving the community prompt answers to their questions on these vital cases.

Focus on Violent Crime

The top priority of all prosecutors is to minimize violence.  Ramin considers it his calling to keep the people of Norfolk from losing their loved ones to violence.

The community trust that will come from community prosecution and from a continuing, public commitment to criminal justice reform will allow the office to focus additional resources on the prosecution of violent crimes and the firearms-possession and firearms-use crimes that drive violent crimes.

Ramin Lobbying for Justice

Legislative Priorities

Marijuana Legalization and Regulation

The possession and responsible use of marijuana is legal in large parts of the United States and all over the world. Marijuana criminalization is racially discriminatory and scientifically unfounded.  Virginia has decriminalized marijuana possession, but marijuana possession remains illegal here.  Ramin was the architect of the policy to end marijuana-possession prosecutions in Norfolk, and he will lobby for marijuana legalization in Richmond.

Abolition of Cash Bail

Cash bail criminalizes poverty by requiring persons accused of crimes—and presumed to be innocent—to pay to get out of jail. California, New Jersey, and Washington D.C., among others have abolished this outdated practice in favor of pretrial supervision.  Ramin has already worked to end cash bail in Norfolk, and he will lobby to end all cash bail in Virginia.

Ending the Death Penalty

The death penalty is arbitrary, unfair, disproportionately inflicted on African Americans, expensive, and, above all, morally wrong.  We must cease using the power of the state to kill our fellow human beings.  Ramin pledges never to seek the death penalty, and Ramin pledges to lobby in Richmond to abolish the death penalty once and for all.

Virginia Progressive Prosecutors for Justice

In 2020, twelve of Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys, representing 42% of Virginia’s citizens, came together to form Virginia Progressive Prosecutors for Justice.  Ramin has been the only non-elected Commonwealth’s Attorney who has worked closely with VPPFJ, and as Commonwealth’s Attorney he will continue to support VPPFJ’s efforts to make Virginia’s criminal system fair and just for all.

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Paid for by Friends of Ramin Fatehi
Contact
PO Box 55 Norfolk, VA 23501-0055