Professor Andrew Trees, Roosevelt University
Section eight is a precursor for a number of the protections in the Sixth Amendment. For a fuller discussion of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, see the introductory material.
Virginia Declaration of Rights
Section 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor,
This anticipates the Sixth’s requirements that the accused has the right “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.”
and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty,
This anticipates the Sixth’s requirements that “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”
nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the law of the land or the judgement of his peers.