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‘Substantial assistance’ relief trumps mandatory minimum (access required)

The Court of Appeals of Virginia has agreed with defense counsel that a sentence reduction is possible for a defendant’s assistance to law enforcement despite the mandatory minimum imposed for the underlying crime. The appeals court reversed a Norfolk circuit ...

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PDs talk reform: Mandatory minimums, police stops under study (access required)

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Virginia’s public defenders are telling reform-minded Democrats the state needs more judges from the ranks of defense lawyers, more discretion for judges and fewer opportunities for pretextual police stops. Another target of reformers is mandatory minimum sentences for various offenses ...

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Deposition hostilities ‘unacceptable,’ judge says (access required)


Faced with a deposition that was halted amid sharp objections to the scope of questioning, a Richmond federal judge ordered a second deposition and assessed fees against the opposing counsel. No sanctions were imposed, and the dispute over the questioning ...

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Fairfax won’t use prosecutors in most misdemeanors (access required)


Fairfax County prosecutors stopped being involved in many misdemeanor cases last month. The reason: The county’s newly implemented body-worn camera program for police officers. The body cams create a high volume of footage and an overwhelming caseload prevented prosecutors from ...

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Three directions: Court splits on confrontation challenge (access required)

(adistock/Deposit Photos)

The judges of the Virginia Court of Appeals went in three different directions in analyzing when a document – a signed proof of service – can take the place of live testimony to prove violation of a criminal statute. At ...

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