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Judge could hand down sentence after jury decides guilt (access required)

The 6th Amendment gives criminal defendants the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. Lawyers say their clients often fear exercising this right. “There’s a chilling effect on people exercising their 6th Amendment rights, because in Virginia, sentencing is a gamble,” said Stephen Pfieffer, a criminal defense attorney in Virginia Beach. Virginia is one ...