Can the accused’s testimony be offered as new evidence to reopen acaseif he didn’t testify at the first trial?

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Can the accused’s testimony be offered as new evidence to reopen acaseif he didn’t testify at the first trial?

Being charged with first degree murder but does not testify. Can the accused’s case be reopened with the new evidence being his own testimony that he didn’t offer before?

Asked on January 14, 2012 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the accused in a fist degree murder trial exercised his or her 5th Amendment Rights against self incrimination and was convicted of the offense, his or her failure to testify at trial does not in and of itself give a legal basis for the court to grant a motion to grant a new trial or "re-open" the case for consideration to grant a new trial as "new evidence".

Any such testimony would be self serving and the failure to testify at trial by the accused in his or her defense would be deemed a waiver of this opportunity to give trial testimony.


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