Virginia Inmate Lawmaker Joe Morrissey Votes Against Prohibiting Porn in Jail | NBC4 Washington
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Virginia Inmate Lawmaker Joe Morrissey Votes Against Prohibiting Porn in Jail

Morrissey: Measure won't survive legal challenges

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    Del. Joe Morrissey

    A Virginia lawmaker who spends his nights in jail is opposing a measure aimed at keeping pornography out of the hands of inmates.

    Del. Joe Morrissey voted Wednesday against a bill that would prohibit inmates from possessing obscene material.

    The bill passed by a broad majority and its sponsor said the state's wardens support the measure so that they can keep “hard-core” pornography out of the hands of inmates.

    Morrissey told reporters that the measure won't survive legal challenges and noted that he is a former constitutional law professor.

    "If I wanted to avoid the childish comments and petty jeers or sneers, that would have been an easy vote," Morrissey said. "But it would not have been consistent with my oath."

    The bill's sponsor, Republican Del. R. Steven Landes, said that the bill is constitutional and that similar provisions have been passed in other states.

    Morrissey, a 57-year-old independent was sentenced to six months in jail for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He'd been accused of having a relationship with a 17-year-old receptionist at his law office in 2013.

    He is on a work-release program that allows him to spend his days in the General Assembly and his nights in jail.