The punishment stage of a jury trial poses a difficult test for the conflicting attitudes and opinions of individual jurors. In the search for a mature, well-reasoned, and educated verdict, an understanding of the sentencing process by those controlling the flow of information is the best insurance against decisions which spring from passion, prejudice, and personal bias. Given recent legislative changes affecting sentencing in non-capital felony cases, such an understanding is not susceptible to hornbook solutions. This paper will attempt to put those changes in the context of existing sentencing practices and of related evidentiary issues. It is hoped that it will help stimulate critical thought and serve as a helpful guide.
Thomas D. Horne,
Some Thoughts on Bifurcated Sentencing in Non-Capital Felony Cases in Virginia,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol30/iss2/5