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Criminal Law

SCV: Civil commitment test score not result of negligence (access required)

In dismissing the Commonwealth’s civil-commitment petition, the trial court misapplied Code § 37.2-905.1. Moreover, dismissal was not supported by the evidence. Background Appellee Troy Giddens was convicted of carnal knowledge and attempted carnal knowledge in violation of Code §§ 18.2-26 ...

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SCV: Successive-murder convictions merit multiple sentences (access required)

A defendant who murdered two victims within three years was subject to conviction and sentencing for both crimes under the statutory provision addressing such successive murders. Although the separate indictments merely changed the order in which victims were named, the ...

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4th Cir.: Challenge to factual basis can survive appeal waiver (access required)

Even valid appeal waivers in plea agreements do not necessarily bar claims that the factual basis for a guilty plea is insufficient. In this case, however, the stipulated factual basis and other affirmations by the defendant provided enough support for ...

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4th Cir.: On deferential review, court’s “pause” shows consideration (access required)

At a revocation hearing, a district court asked to reconsider imposing the maximum sentence based on hardship to the defendant’s family did in fact consider that mitigating factor, as shown by the court’s response of “all right” and a subsequent ...

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4th Cir.: Convictions upheld for terrorism fundraisers (access required)

The district court did not err in convicting and sentencing two U.S. citizens who engaged in online fundraising activities for a foreign terrorist organization. The evidence supporting the convictions – obtained through ex parte, in camera FISA review – was ...

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Va. Cir.: Defendants can plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit (access required)

Even if he factually did not commit a charged offense, a criminal defendant may plead guilty to avoid potential conviction of a more serious crime or imposition of a worse sentence. Courts considering such pleas should require the defendant to assert ...

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Va. Cir.: Gun seen from beyond “path of consent” will be suppressed (access required)

While officers had the defendant’s explicit consent to search specific rooms in his house and implied consent to take a path leading to those rooms, his firearm was seen only after an officer deviated from that path. Thus, it exceeded ...

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CAV: Any relevant evidence may prove lascivious intent (access required)

No Virginia precedent sets forth specific types of evidence that must be proven to show lascivious intent in a sexual battery case. Such intent may be proven with any evidence that establishes such intent beyond a reasonable doubt. Background Four-year-old ...

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