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November 2018 Archives

Virginia Expands Criminal Defendants' Rights to Inspect Evidence Prior to Trial

Ending a nearly three year debate, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that those accused of committing criminal offenses will be entitled to inspect evidence relevant to his or her case including police reports, written witness statements, written summaries of statements made by witnesses, and a list of witnesses expected to testify for the prosecution. The new discovery rule, taking effect in July of next year, also requires the defense to turn over its witness list to the prosecution before trial. Prior to the enactment of the new rule, criminal defendants were only entitled to review statements made by the defendant, tangible evidence, and written reports of scientific tests.

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