Quest for Clarity: Elements of Proof for Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony Offense

The Court of Appeals of Virginia released a soon-to-be published panel decision on January 8, 2019, in Kimberly Paul Barney v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 2019 Va. App. LEXIS 5 (January 8, 2019). Judge William G. Petty authored the Court’s opinion, joined by Judges Teresa M. Chafin and Glen A. Huff. In Barney, the Court considered both the jury instruction given and the elements of the statutory offense, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. See Va. Code §18.2-53.1. Regarding the elements of proof, the Court strove to analyze its own and the Virginia Supreme Court’s diverse, yet relevant precedent. It sought to establish clarity in Virginia law respecting this oft-prosecuted cri

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