It has long been the general assumption in criminal cases in the United States that the fair trial provided for by the Federal Constitution contemplates a unitary one wherein all of the issues are deliberated within a single proceeding, with verdict, and punishment if any, in the form of a single pronouncement. A recent Virginia case, however, has held that the issues of guilt and punishment are severable and may be tried separately where particular circumstances exist.
Criminal Procedure- Virginia's Limited Use of A Two-Trial System,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol6/iss2/16