Writ of actual innocence; based on nonbiological evidence, additional petitions allowed. (SB171)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Moneta)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Writ of actual innocence based on nonbiological evidence; additional petitions allowed. Removes the limitation that only one petition may be filed by allowing additional petitions based on new retroactive new rules of constitutional law and changes in statute when such rules are applicable to a collateral review of a criminal conviction. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/01/2014Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/14 14102825D
01/01/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/15/2014Reported from Courts of Justice (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
01/17/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N)
01/20/2014Read second time and engrossed
01/21/2014Read third time and passed Senate (26-Y 11-N)
01/24/2014Placed on Calendar
01/24/2014Read first time
01/24/2014Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/12/2014Assigned Courts sub: Criminal Law
02/14/2014Subcommittee recommends laying on the table
03/04/2014Left in Courts of Justice


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 2 minutes.


Keith DeBlasio writes:

While I understand that there are many arguments for finality in judgments, I think there is a strong case to be made that the state law should be improved to permit successive petitions for the limited purpose where there is an intervening change in law.
Federal case law and 28 USC §2244 already permits such similar successive filings in the federal courts. This appears to not only be a more costly route to take when the State is required to argue its position in federal proceedings, but it also appears to deprive the state courts from having the first opportunity to review the conclusions of law that should be applied to any intervening changes in statutes and/or precedent prior to being directed to do so by the federal courts. For that reason alone, it would seem to be logical that the state statute be amended in this fashion in order to reserve the right of first review for the state courts in these circumstances.
Everyone should Support SB 171!

Keith DeBlasio writes:

SUPPORT SB 171 in VIRGINIA - Amending the Writ of Actual Innocence

carrington brown writes:

this bill needs to be passed to allow someone with new evidence to be given the chance to be free. why would the state not give a person with new evidence or a change in law a chance because it causes extra paper work????!!!!! does not innocence matter the MOST?