In re Phillips (P)

No writ of actual innocence should issue in this case. This court’s authority to grant such a writ based on biological evidence is limited and does not lie where test results were not performed or certified by the Virginia Department… Read More ›

Smith v. Commonwealth (P)

The court of appeals properly found that evidence was sufficient to uphold a conviction of voluntary manslaughter. Neither the defendant nor the Commonwealth asked the trial court to instruct the jury that words alone are never sufficient provocation to reduce… Read More ›

Lawlor v. Zook (P)

A Virginia state court sentenced the petitioner to death after his capital murder conviction. The district court dismissed his petition for review of his death sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. This was error. The state court excluded specialized and… Read More ›

Bennett v. Commonwealth (P)

Admission of video and audio recordings reflecting a drug sale didn’t violate the defendant’s constitutional right to confront the witnesses against him. The video and photographs made from it were admitted as silent witnesses. The video does not reflect any… Read More ›

United States v. Zelaya (P)

Evidence was sufficient to support the convictions of four MS-13 members on charges of violent crimes in aid of racketeering. The combination of the appellant’s shooting offense as a grossly disproportionate retaliation to a public slight and his after-the-fact engagement… Read More ›

Anderson v. Commonwealth (P)

The circuit court did not err by refusing to admit the victim’s prior criminal charges and convictions into evidence at the defendant’s trial for voluntary manslaughter. The excluded charges and convictions occurred 17 to 20 years earlier and didn’t establish… Read More ›

Wright v. Commonwealth (U)

The circuit court was plainly wrong in finding evidence sufficient to support the defendant’s guilt for larceny. Guilt depended on inferences about a videotape’s accuracy and date, because not only was the video not admitted into evidence but neither was… Read More ›

Livingston v. Nielsen

In an employment discrimination suit, evidence as to a particular comparator employee’s demotion as cited by the plaintiff will be excluded. The comparator had a different supervisor, experienced an adverse decision by a different decision-maker, was a career employee rather… Read More ›

Johnson v. Commonwealth (P)

Admitting hearsay evidence in a probation revocation proceeding didn’t violate the defendant’s right to confront witnesses against him under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The circuit court revoked probation based in part on his contact with underage females,… Read More ›

United States v. Gibson

In advance of the defendant’s trial for several fraud offenses, the court declined to categorically exclude evidence that the victims were elderly and that the funds came from their retirement savings. However, the court granted the defendant’s motion to exclude… Read More ›

Spratley v. Commonwealth (P)

In an issue of first impression, the court confirmed that the Commonwealth could prove felony destruction of property with evidence of the cost of replacing the property. The defendant had knocked over a grocery-store scale during an argument with a companion…. Read More ›