19 August 2009

Virginia Cases of Interest

I was browsing through the Virginia Court of Appeals and these are the cases which caught my interest:

Brown v. Virginia, No. 1034-08-2 - A video is not subject to the best evidence rule and therefore an individual can testify as to what he saw by watching the tape and the tape need not be introduced. **In a footnote the Court of Appeals acknowledges that it is ruling contrary to federal understanding of this rule of evidence and the rule as applied in 42 States.**

Atkins v. Commonwealth, No. 1502-08-2 - An offender running away from officers and lying as to his name does not qualify as obstruction of justice under Virginia's statute.

Turner v. Commonwealth, No. 1836-07-1 - The Court of Appeals grants a Writ of Actual Innocence based upon a co-defendant taking all the blame after conviction of both. (I think this one is being redecided en banc)

Cooper v. Commonwealth, No. 1392-08-3 - If the Commonwealth gets a continuance because a necessary witness cannot currently testify in view of the fact she is awaiting trial herself it is not prejudicial to the defendant and therefore not an abuse of the trial judge's discretion.

Scott v. Commonwealth No. 1557-07-2 - Ohio found Scott guilty of violating his Virginia probation and sentenced him to serve 6 months of the suspended Virginia sentence in Ohio prison. After serving his time in Ohio, Scott was extradited to Virginia. The Virginia court found Scott guilty of violating his probation and gave him two years. Scott appeals, stating that he'd already been punished for violating his probation by Ohio. The Court of Appeals points out that Ohio didn't have any right to do such a thing and upholds the Virginia sentencing.

Jones, Jr. v. Commonwealth, No. 1802-08-1 - Updates and follows Shiflett.

Wilson v. Commonwealth, No. 1775-08-2 - Elaboration on the ability of a judge to alter a sentence under 19.2-303.


The last two are cases I'm probably going to post more extensively about - hopefully next week. Wilson in particular interests me. I usually think that Judge Humphreys' opinions are among the best our appellate court puts out, but a quick read of this one bothers me. I'll have to digest it for a bit and post my thoughts later.

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