Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Latest views of task force on reforming 21-day rule to allow after-acquired evidence in criminal cases

The final order rule in Virginia allows only 21 days from the date of the order for a criminal defendant to introduce new evidence of innocense, which is the shortest period of any state in the country, according to this report in the Richmond paper and this report in the Virginian-Pilot, which note that the group studying reform of the 21-day rule is considering new requirements for later evidence that "it must be shown that the evidence was not previously known or available at the time of conviction; that it could not have been discovered by 'diligence' before the conviction; and that it is so compelling that it 'will prove that no rational trier of fact could have found proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.'"

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