When DNA evidence began springing people from prison, prosecutors discovered just how unreliable eyewitnesses can be.
Here in Virginia, 13 out of 16 cases of wrongful convictions involved inaccurate identifications. That led the state to issue model procedures for dealing with witnesses, but after nearly two years, very few have put those recommendations into practice.
A defendant who’s charged with committing a sex offense against a child may have his previous convictions used against him in court under legislation that’s being considered by the Virginia State Crime Commission.
The bill’s opponents say that acknowledging prior convictions or negative character traits during a trial has the potential to prejudice a jury against a defendant. Some lawmakers believe current state law does not strike the right balance to secure justice for victimized children.
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It turned out the bulls weren’t the most dangerous things at Virginia’s first Great Bull Run....and the state is issuing specialty license plates that show support for Governor McDonnell, but they’re not easy to get.
Those stories were among the most frequently clicked this past week at Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.
VaNews is a free public service of the Virginia Public Access Project and can be found at vpap.org.
Something surprising is happening to rivers in the eastern part of the United States. Scientists from the Universities of Virginia and Maryland say human activities are changing the basic chemistry of the water.
In a survey of 97 rivers from Florida to New Hampshire over up to six decades, scientists have discovered the water becoming less acidic – a surprise in light of how much acid rain has fallen in this part of the world.
The New River Trail, in southwestern Virginia, runs for 57 miles from Pulaski to Galax. It’s Virginia’s longest state park, but also its narrowest ---with a right of way just 80 feet wide in many places.
Some worry that makes it especially vulnerable to development along the trail as communities give way to pressure to trade their rural character for the promise of prosperity.