Below is Senator Ken Cuccinelli's Official Statement on Governor Tim Kaine's announcement that he will be calling for a special session of the General Assembly, as originally recommended by Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli Commends Governor for Special Session
Special Session, first called for by Senator Cuccinelli, is needed for immediate legal fix
RICHMOND -- Statement of Senator Ken Cuccinelli
"Governor Tim Kaine announced this morning that he was calling a special session of the General Assembly to address the problems facing Commonwealth's Attorneys - Virginia's front line prosecutors - as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's June 25th ruling in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts."
"After many discussions with those on the front lines in criminal justice, I have been adamant in my call for a special session to deal specifically with the legal issues facing the Commonwealth as a result of the Melendez case. While the Governor's office indicated to me initially that they were focused on trying to find an "administrative solution," I am pleased that the Governor and his team have concluded that the best solution is to rewrite Virginia's laws to make sure we don't lose convictions of drunk drivers, drug offenders, and sex registry offenders. It's never a popular idea to call a special session, in the middle of the summer, especially in an election year. I congratulate the Governor for making the right choice to protect the people of Virginia."
"The problems caused by the Melendez case are growing daily. Prosecutors from all over the Commonwealth are faced with the prospect of having to dismiss - and in some cases lose - DUI, drug and other cases because analysts who tested the substance at issue (drugs, blood, etc.) are not available to testify in court, as specified under the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The longer we delay, the more drunk drivers and drug offenders get off spot free. I am confident that the overwhelming proportion of my colleagues will come to Richmond focused on fixing this real and rising danger in our criminal justice system."
"In the Melendez case, the Supreme Court identified three states whose laws already comply with their ruling: Georgia, Texas and Ohio. So there should not be feuding over the solution. We should conform Virginia's laws to be similar to the so-called 'notice-waiver' statutes of these three states for all appropriate cases. We will also need to try and add more lab technicians to catch back up on the backlog of work created for our lab techs and prosecutors since the Melendez decision."
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