Family Restoration Requires Balancing Defendant's Rights with Prosecutorial Duties

Earlier we discussed federal proposals for home visitation and we mentioned issues concerning child abuse allegations. Balancing a defendant's rights with a prosecutor's duties in such cases is an element of restoring a family when a wrong has been alleged. And my involvement with the Virginia Bar Association often means involvement in the legislative process in Virginia, as I've noted some of my particularly opportunities with family restoration here on this blog before.

The VBA recently offered a press release outlining its position on proposed changes related to legislation expected to be before the General Assembly at its special session in Richmond in response to the recent decision of the U. S. Supreme Court in Melendez-Diaz vs. Massachusetts.

The proposed changes, which were drafted in cooperation with the Governor of the Commonwealth, adopt an "objection and demand" procedure similar to laws in several other states which were expressly approved in the majority opinion in Melendez-Diaz and add a tolling provision to Virginia's speedy trial act which would allow limited continuances because a witness necessary for the admission of a certificate of analysis is unavailable. VBA members agree that it is a reasonable response to Melendez-Diaz that "strikes a balance between the rights of persons accused of crimes to confront witnesses against them and the ability of the Commonwealth to bring the necessary proof to trial." Read the entire press release here [PDF format].

Family restoration requires balancing a defendant's rights with a prosecutor's duties in such cases where a crime has been alleged.

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