The purpose of this brief note is to examine the Virginia rules relating to the requirement of corroboration of an extrajudicial, confession as a basis for conviction of a criminal offense. The rules discussed herein do not, of course, apply to a plea of guilty in open court, and it might be noted too that the title selected by the author may be misleading in that, as a general rule, the rules discussed do apply to incriminating admissions of fact (except those occurring before the alleged criminal act) as well as full confessions. "A confession is the admission of guilt by the defendant of all the necessary elements of the crime of which he is charged, including the necessary acts and intent. An admission merely admits some fact which connects or tends to connect the defendant with the offense but not with all the elements of the crime." It has also been held that where the admission is relevant merely by virtue of its utterance, without regard to its veracity, the corroboration requirement does not apply.
James W. Payne Jr.,
Corroboration of Confessions in a Criminal Case in Virginia,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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