Commonwealth v. Shifflett
In Commonwealth v. Shifflett, 257 Va. 34, 44, 510 S.E.2d 232, 236 (1999), the Supreme Court of Virginia instructed that "the kind of evidence contemplated by 19.2-295.1 bears upon the record of the defendant and the nature of his crime.
Evidence of a good previous record, and extenuating circumstances tending to explain, but not excuse, the commission of the noncapital crime is admissible mitigating evidence."
The Court also noted that "a trial court, in determining what evidence is relevant to punishment under Code 19.2-295.1 may be guided in the exercise of its discretion, subject to the rules of evidence governing admissibility, by the factors set forth in Code 19.2-264.4(B)." Id. at 44, 510 S.E.2d at 236.