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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Action Alert: HB403- Allowing a Prior Sexual Conviction as Admissible Evidence in a New Case Will be Heard by the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee


Update:


February 17, 2014:

This bill was on today’s agenda but the patron asked the Committee to allow it to be postponed as he was waiting to hear back from Attorney General Herring in regards to his support on the proposal.

The next Senate Courts of Justice hearing would be on Wednesday February 19 in the afternoon or next Monday morning.

If you have not yet contacted the members of the Committee asking them to oppose HB403, please do so today!

Original Post:

Originally scheduled to be hear on Monday February 17, 2014 at 8AM.

Back on January 4, 2014 I posted an action alert about HB403 which proposes allowing a prior sexual conviction as evidence in a case of a new sexual charge. 

HB403 passed the Virginia House on February 11, 2014 92-6 with one Delegate not voting. 

Virginia Rule of Evidence 2:403 excludes relevant evidence on grounds of prejudice, confusion, misleading the jury or needless presentation of cumulative evidence if the probative value of the evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.  

As I previously stated at the September 3, 2013 Virginia Crime Commission allowing a defendants past into evidence but not the plaintiffs history contaminates the process with bias and destroys the presumption of innocence which is the very foundation of our justice system. 

Virginia Rule of Evidence 2:412 states regarding admissibility of complaining witness' prior sexual  conduct; criminal  sexual  assault  cases; relevance of past behavior that general reputation or opinion evidence of the complaining witness' unchaste character or prior sexual conduct shall not be admitted.   

Including a false accusation against someone else! 

But yet 92 out of 99 Virginia Delegates believe this hypocritical proposal is justice. 
 


HB403 has been sent to the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. 

This bill will be heard tomorrow at 8AM. I will be at the meeting to speak against another bill but will be listening closely to the discussion about HB403. I have already spoken against such a proposal and I do not feel me repeating my opposition will be of any benefit; hopefully some other citizens will stand in protest against HB403. 

I have sent an email to every Senator against HB403 and I ask that you do the same. 

Please Email or call  your Virginia Senator today and every member of the Courts of Justice Committee (below), tell them to vote “NO” on HB403.

Thank you 

Mary Devoy 

2014- Senate Courts of Justice Committee  

 
Party
Email
Richmond, VA. During Session
Chairman   
Henry Marsh
D
804-698-7516
John Edwards
D
804-698-7521
Janet Howell                       *Also on VSCC
D
804-698-7532
L. Louise Lucas
D
804-698-7518
Ryan McDougle
R
804-698-7504
A. Donald McEachin
D
804-698-7509
Thomas “Tommy” Norment                          *Also on VSCC  
*Also on VCSC
R
804-698-7503
Mark Obenshain
R
804-698-7526
J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen
D
804-698-7534
Toddy Puller
D
804-698-7536
Richard Saslaw
D
804-698-7535
William Stanley
R
804-698-7520
Richard Stuart
R
804-698-7528
Jill Holtzman Vogel
R
804-698-7527
Jennifer Wexton
D
804-698-7533