The original definition of felony was “a serious crime punishable by over a year in prison”. In theory, felonies are actively committed. Prison or death are supposed to be reasonable punishments for misdeeds wilfully perpetrated. Two problems arise in practice.
The first problem, the more widespread of the two, is that the definition of “felonious misdeed” has grown to encompass such horrible actions as filling in a small runoff pond on a farm, possession of a feather from particular bird species, or making a true statement to police that they think to be false.
The second problem has been with us for almost as long. In 1933, F.D. Roosevelt’s executive order prohibited simple possession of gold coins, bullion or certificates. In 1934, simple possession of many kinds of firearms and their accessories was effectively prohibited through punitive taxes amounting to the cost of a car per item. To keep a $2 rimfire sound muffler, a person was supposed to by a $200 tax stamp. Every one of those laws made people into felons overnight, with no action required by the newly appointed criminal. A person ignorant of the new law or executive order would still be subject to imprisonment with no regard for the lack of ill intent.
To me, this adds up to a perversion of justice. To the politicians of Virginia, this is the game plan. They are not shy about using the military to enforce his plan, either.