RD64 - Report on Murder by Lying in Wait as a Capital Offense

Executive Summary:
In 2004, Delegate McDonnell made a request to the Virginia State Crime Commission for staff to study the idea of expanding Virginia’s capital murder statutes to include the concept of “lying in wait” or “ambush” as an aggravating factor that could be considered by juries.

Because this proposed factor would be inconsistent with Virginia’s current capital murder scheme, and because the broad categories in current capital sentencing instructions already allow juries to consider whether a defendant carried out his crime by “lying in wait,” it was the recommendation of the Crime Commission not to modify any of Virginia’s capital murder statutes in this manner.