Study: Flaws in Virginia Death Penalty

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

HARRISONBURG -- A new report says Virginia's death penalty process must change in order to ensure "fairness and accuracy". This all came after the American Bar Association's (ABA) death penalty assessment project's two-year study. It points to a restrictive state appeals process.

The panel which conducted the study is calling for Virginia lawmakers to give inmates more time to appeal, expansion of defendant's access to evidence and improvements in jury instructions.

"Where a person's life is at stake, I think it's more important that we be more critical of our process and make certain that it is in a good and fair process and balances that public interest against the defendant's right to know and affect their innocence if they are innocent," said Nathan Miller, an attorney with Miller Earle and Shanks.

Since the death penalty was put back into place more than 30 years ago, more than 100 people have been executed. Virginia is second to Texas, which executed more than 500 people.

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