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The Virginia Appellate Lawyer’s Court of Appeals of Virginia Blog

Court of Appeals Decisions appealed to the Supreme Court in April

The Court of Appeals announced cases that have been appealed to the Supreme Court in the last month. The Court also issued five new published opinion, which will be summarized in a separate post.

Five of the six cases appealed were from criminal cases. Justin Andrew Harvey v. Commonwealth of Virginia was decided January 24 and summarized by your humble correspondent with the query of why it was a published opinion as it appeared to offer nothing new or novel. I suspect that the appeal is merely an exercise in the right to appeal.

Quincy Dione Baskerville v. Commonwealth of Virginia on the other hand is not unexpected as it is a Commonwealth’s appeal of a decision finding that the circuit court failed to exclude evidence seized without a search warrant, finding that there were no exigent circumstances to support the warrantless entry. I would anticipate a likely grant from the Justices.

Akeem Alee Calokoh v. Commonwealth of Virginia was decided March 10 and involves the application of Code § 19.2-271.6, the new mental health evidence statute. The Court of Appeals held that Code § 19.2-271.6 did not create an affirmative defense (akin to diminished capacity), but is merely a rule of admissibility of evidence with respect to the ability to form intent. As this is an issue of first impression, a “final word” from the Justice would be welcome.

Bradford T. Cellucci v. Commonwealth of Virginia is an appeal from an en banc decision that reversed the position of the original panel. The issue is about whether the circuit court erred in failing to consider evidence in mitigation. The en banc was 14-3, so the odds of a review by the Supreme Court seems limited.

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