Pretrial Justice: Examining the Need for Pretrial & Criminal Discovery Reform in Virginia

On Saturday, January 11, 2020, join NACDL, along with the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL), the Due Process Institute, Americans for Prosperity – Virginia, and the Legal Aid Justice Center, for a free community forum discussing the state of Virginia’s pretrial practices and discovery practices and the need for meaningful reform, at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.

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Background:

In 2019, NACDL, in partnership with a coalition of organizations in Virginia, put forward a data collection bill designed to focus on routinely gathering data that could be used to understand and measure what is occurring the criminal system in the Commonwealth, with a focus on pretrial. The legislation stalled in a House committee but will be reintroduced for consideration during the 2020 General Assembly.

On September 5, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued amended criminal discovery rules, originally set to take effect July 1, 2019, marking the first such overhaul in decades. Specifically, the Court amended Rules 3A:11 (Discovery and Inspection) and 3A:12 (Subpoena) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The amended rules provide far greater pretrial disclosure by prosecutors, including the inspection and review of police reports and statements of co-defendants and alleged co-conspirators that are sought to be introduced at trial. The amended rules also create mutual obligations on the defense and prosecution relating to the exchange of witness lists and expert witness information. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court further delayed implementation to July 1, 2020.

Hear from experts and community advocates on the state of pretrial and discovery practices and learn why Virginia needs reform in these areas. This event is free and open to the community. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP here.