Effective January 1, 1985, the Court of Appeals of Virginia was established. The new intermediate appellate court possesses exclusive jurisdiction over appeals from any final judgment of conviction in a circuit court for a traffic violation or a crime, except where a sentence of death is imposed. The operation of the court of appeals is likely to have a twofold effect on the criminal justice system. First, it should reduce the current backlog of cases in the supreme court; second, it should produce an increase in the number of reported criminal decisions, thereby facilitating an understanding of criminal law and procedure. For the first time, therefore, a review of criminal law developments in the commonwealth must include the work of an additional court.
Richard A. Williamson,
Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Criminal Law,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol20/iss4/6