Attorney General Mark Herring has made the right call in an argument the state was bound to lose.
Not long ago, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that juries should get to hear all the evidence in eminent-domain cases, not just the evidence favorable to the commonwealth. The dispute concerned VDOT’s seizure of land for an interchange. The state made two assessments of the property’s value, one for nearly a quarter-million dollars and one for less than half that amount. When John and Janet Ramsey asked for more, the jury was told only about the much smaller estimate. The Ramseys contended this was wrong, and the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that juries should hear all the relevant evidence, not just the lowest figure the state has offered.
The attorney general’s office could have asked the high court to rehear the case, which already has dragged on for years. Wisely, Herring chose not to do so. This was not only prudent — overturning a unanimous decision seemed unlikely — but also just. There is no good reason to hide pertinent facts from a jury.
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~ Richmond Times-Dispatch