John L. “Jack” Melnick, a lawyer and a former member of the Virginia General Assembly who fought for the rights of crime victims, died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington on Aug. 21. He was 78 and was a senior member of the Falls Church-based Melnick & Melnick law firm.
The Washington Post reported Mr. Melnick's death Sunday.
Mr. Melnick spent 25 years as a commissioner in chancery of the Arlington County Circuit Court, according to the Post, and he served three terms in the General Assembly in the 1970s.
While in the General Assembly, Mr. Melnick sponsored what is now the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, the Post reported. Under that legislation, victims of felonies and misdemeanors are reimbursed for their losses using court fees.
John Latane Melnick was born in Alexandria and raised in Arlington, where he was a 1953 graduate of Washington-Lee High School. He was a 1958 commerce graduate of the University of Virginia and a 1961 graduate of the U-Va. law school. He was director and a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Arlington, a past president of the Arlington Bar Association and a past member of the Virginia State Crime Commission, according to his obituary.
Mr. Melnick's survivors include his wife of 51 years, Marjory Helter “Margi” Melnick of Arlington; four children, John Melnick II of Reston, Paul Melnick of Arlington and Kathy Scott and Laura Thompson, both of Leesburg; a brother; a sister; and nine grandchildren, the Post reported.