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The Champion

September-October 2018 , Page 12 

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NACDL News: Supreme Court of Virginia Overhauls Criminal Discovery Rules; Major Victory for Broad, Bipartisan Coalition of Criminal Justice Reformers

By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ian Nawalinski

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On Sept. 5, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued amended criminal discovery rules set to take effect July 1, 2019, marking the first such overhaul in decades. Specifically, the court issued 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.

After years of concerted efforts by numerous individuals and entities from across the ideological spectrum, in both the General Assembly and at the grassroots level, the Virginia Supreme Court earlier this year again took up consideration of the matter of the Commonwealth’s rules for disclosure, known as

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  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
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