Criminal Justice

Virginia project hopes inmates recognize cold-case victims on playing cards and offer information

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As part of a new project launched by the Virginia attorney general’s office and its partners Thursday, people who are incarcerated at the Richmond City Justice Center in Virginia will receive a special deck of playing cards that features information about unsolved murders.

“The loss of a murdered loved one is devastating,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said in an Aug. 11 news release. “Not receiving justice makes it even worse. I’m hopeful that this creative tool will help law enforcement provide answers and justice to these families.” has coverage of the announcement.

The playing cards come in the four standard suits but also display a photograph, a name and cold-case details on one side, according to the news release. The reverse side highlights how to provide information about the case.

The attorney general’s office said it hopes that inmates will recognize past victims and offer details that could help law enforcement close more unsolved cases.

Other partners in the project include the commonwealth attorney’s office, the Richmond sheriff’s office, the Richmond Police Department and Crime Stoppers, a program that seeks the help of the community to solve crimes.

“Families of loved ones who were taken from our community deserve closure and we’ve seen this be an effective resource in other jurisdictions,” said Richmond Chief of Police Gerald Smith in the news release. “We are proud to participate in this endeavor as this is a creative method for generating interest and information on pending cases that could help generate new leads.”

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