Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Crime Commission's proposals on reforming the 21-day rule

Via VLW, the Roanoke Times has this story on the Crime Commission's proposal for reforming the 21-day final judgment rule, which currently limits the ability of convicted criminal defendants to come forward with evidence of their innocence more than 21 days after the final order in their criminal cases - a rule that was cited as one of the most unfair aspects of Virginia criminal procedure in the recent ACLU report calling for a death penalty moratorium in Virginia.

"Under the proposed law, convicted felons who discover new evidence of innocence can petition the Court of Appeals. If the appellate court finds the case might have merit, it will order the judge in the jurisdiction where the defendant was convicted to hold an evidentiary hearing on certain factual matters. The appellate court will have the final call on whether the conviction should stand."

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