Virginia permits imposition of the death penalty for capital murder only after a bifurcated trial in which the jury has found the defendant guilty of the crime and, in a separate proceeding, determined death to be the appropriate penalty. In the second half of this process, the jury must find at least one of the two aggravating circumstances set out by statute' before a death sentence is imposed.
S. V. Priddy III,
Godfrey v. Georgia: Possible Effects on Virginia's Death Penalty Law,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol15/iss4/10