Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Melendez-Diaz, the Supreme Court of Virginia has acknowledged Virginia’s former procedure for admission of lab reports in criminal trials failed to safeguard a defendant’s rights under the Confrontation Clause. The decision today in Cypress v. Commonwealth (VLW 010-6-083) means a new trial for one drug defendant, but no [...]
Tag Archive 'Robbery'
Although faulty eyewitness identification has been the basis for most of the convictions overturned by DNA evidence, it’s tough to get an appellate writ granted, much less have a conviction reversed, when the judge or jury believes the witness. So it was no surprise that Maurice James Ward’s challenge to a robbery victim’s identification of [...]
The Supreme Court of Virginia is taking aim at the issue of whether a robber can be convicted of use of a firearm without evidence of a real gun. In March, the Court of Appeals overruled a 1995 decision holding that an object the victim reasonably believed to be a firearm could never constitute a [...]