Murray J. Janus


On January 1, 1972 the new Virginia Rules of Criminal Practice and Procedure became effective, some three and one-half years after the President of the Virginia State Bar Association appointed a Special Committee to draft these proposed Rules. Mr. Justice Thomas C. Gordon, Jr., was appointed Chairman of the Committee in June of 1968. Peter C. Manson, Professor of Criminal Law at the University ,of.Virginia,acted as consultant for the Committee and he made available special student assistants who were invaluable with their research. In addition, two judges of courts of record with criminal jurisdiction, the Honorable Edmund P. Simpkins, Jr., and the Honorable William W. Sweeney, served on the Committee as well as two commonwealth's attorneys and a member of the Attorney General's staff. Three defense attorneys and a former judge of a court not of record comprised the rest of the Committee, giving it, at least theoretically, a balanced approach. After one year of work the Committee reported to the State Bar Association at its annual meeting in July of 1969. The Bar Association endorsed the Rules, and they were submitted to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. After almost two years of hearings and recommendations from the Judicial Council, the Common- wealth's Attorneys' Association; the Criminal.Bar Section of the Virginia State Bar and the Attorney General's Office, the Rules were adopted by the Supreme Court on June 15, 1971, to become effective on January 1, 1972.