The Commonwealth of Virginia is so named (as opposed to being denominated simply a "state") because the term "commonwealth" is used to indicate a government in which "supreme power is vested in the people."' That term is particularly apt, for in what better way does a government provide for the common weal of its people than by protecting them against crime, while at the same time respecting their individual rights and liberties? This is a delicate balance, one that is reflected in this survey of the most recent developments in Virginia criminal law and procedure. The legislative enactments and judicial decisions examined here portray the careful quest to resolve the tensions inherent between respect for the individual and the need for efficient law enforcement.
Michael E. O'Neill,
Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Criminal Law and Procedure,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol34/iss3/6