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


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.