Triggerman rule; redefinition thereof, penalty. (HB2358)

Introduced By

Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) with support from co-patrons Del. Clay Athey (R-Front Royal), Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), Del. Jimmie Massie (R-Richmond), Del. Charles Poindexter (R-Glade Hill), and Del. Beverly Sherwood (R-Winchester)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Criminal law; redefinition of the triggerman rule. Redefines the "triggerman rule," which currently provides that only the actual perpetrator of a capital murder is eligible for the death penalty and that accessories and principals in the second degree can be punished only as if guilty of first degree murder. This bill allows principals in the second degree and accessories before the fact to be charged as principals in the first degree in the cases of murder for hire, murder involving a continuing criminal enterprise, and terrorism. This bill allows, in all other cases of capital murder, a principal in the second degree to be tried as a principal in the first degree if he had the same intent to kill as the principal in the first degree. The bill allows an accessory before the fact to be tried as a principal in the first degree if he ordered or directed the willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing. Amends § 18.2-18, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


  • 01/14/2009 Committee
  • 01/14/2009 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/09 090535516
  • 01/14/2009 Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
  • 01/15/2009 Impact statement from VCSC (HB2358)
  • 01/20/2009 Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
  • 01/20/2009 Impact statement from DPB (HB2358)
  • 01/29/2009 Subcommittee recommends reporting
  • 02/04/2009 Reported from Courts of Justice (18-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/06/2009 Read first time
  • 02/08/2009 Passed by for the day
  • 02/09/2009 Read second time and engrossed (77-Y 21-N)
  • 02/09/2009 VOTE: --- ENGROSSMENT (77-Y 21-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/10/2009 Read third time and passed House (73-Y 25-N)
  • 02/10/2009 VOTE: --- PASSAGE (73-Y 25-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/11/2009 Constitutional reading dispensed
  • 02/11/2009 Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
  • 02/16/2009 Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (9-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/17/2009 Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/18/2009 Passed by for the day
  • 02/19/2009 Read third time
  • 02/19/2009 Reading of amendments waived
  • 02/19/2009 Committee amendments agreed to
  • 02/19/2009 Engrossed by Senate as amended
  • 02/19/2009 Passed Senate with amendments (24-Y 16-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/19/2009 Reconsideration of Senate passage agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/19/2009 Passed by for the day
  • 02/20/2009 Passed by for the day
  • 02/23/2009 Passed by for the day
  • 02/24/2009 Read third time
  • 02/24/2009 Engrossed by Senate as amended
  • 02/24/2009 Passed Senate with amendments (24-Y 13-N) (see vote tally)
  • 02/25/2009 Placed on Calendar
  • 02/26/2009 Senate amendments agreed to by House (75-Y 21-N)
  • 02/26/2009 VOTE: --- ADOPTION (75-Y 21-N) (see vote tally)
  • 03/09/2009 Enrolled
  • 03/09/2009 Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB2358ER)
  • 03/10/2009 Signed by President
  • 03/11/2009 Signed by Speaker
  • 03/12/2009 Impact statement from DPB (HB2358ER)
  • 03/30/2009 G Vetoed by Governor
  • 04/07/2009 Placed on Calendar
  • 04/08/2009 Governor's veto overridden (69-Y 30-N)
  • 04/08/2009 Governor's veto overridden
  • 04/08/2009 VOTE: --- OVERRIDE GOVERNOR'S VETO (69-Y 30-N) (see vote tally)
  • 04/08/2009 Motion to pass in enrolled form rejected (24-Y 16-N) (see vote tally)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 9 minutes.