Lilly v. Commonwealth
In Lilly v. Commonwealth, 218 Va. 960, 963, 243 S.E.2d 208, 210-11 (1978), the Supreme Court of Virginia held that in determining whether a trial court abused its discretion in denying a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty, an appellate court should "consider not only what the trial court may have told, or failed to tell, the defendant before accepting his plea but also the events that occurred after acceptance of the plea and before sentencing." Id. at 963, 243 S.E.2d at 211.
In Lilly v. Commonwealth, 255 Va. 558, 569-70, 499 S.E.2d 522, 531 (1998), the Supreme Court of Virginia held that when the officer's sole role in a criminal prosecution is as a witness, he is not a "party".... Thus, a juror's relationship to such a police officer witness does not require per se dismissal of that juror from the venire, and the juror may be retained if the trial court is satisfied that the juror can set aside considerations of the relationship and evaluate all the evidence fairly. Id.
In Lilly, the Virginia Supreme Court held that "a juror's relationship to a police officer-witness does not require per se dismissal of that juror from the venire, and the juror may be retained if the trial court is satisfied that the juror can set aside considerations of the relationship and evaluate all the evidence fairly." Id. at 570, 499 S.E.2d at 531.
In Lilly, the only basis for challenging the juror's impartiality was that the juror was a second cousin of the police officer-witness.
3. In Lilly v. Commonwealth, 258 Va. 548, 551, 523 S.E.2d 208, 209 (1999), the Supreme Court of Virginia held that the inadmissible statement of one co-conspirator was the only evidence that corroborated the other co-conspirator's in-court testimony that the defendant was the triggerman in the murder. See Lilly, 258 Va. at 552-53, 523 S.E.2d at 209.
The Court wrote:
Here the issue is not the credibility of the witness, but rather the potential for harm caused by the erroneous admission of evidence which tends to support the jury's credibility determination. In that context we must presume that such evidence had the potential to influence the jury into accepting the properly admitted evidence as more credible and, thus, to taint the jury's determination of the facts. Id. at 553, 523 S.E.2d at 210.