66. A Bill concerning Treasons, Felonies and Other Offences Committed Out of the Jurisdiction of this Commonwealth
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that all high treasons, misprisions and concealments of high treasons and other offences, except piracies and felonies committed by any citizen of this commonwealth, in any place out of the jurisdiction of the courts of common law of this commonwealth, and all felonies committed by citizen against citizen in any such place, other than the high seas, shall be inquired, tried, heard, determined and judged1 before any one or more of the Judges of the High Court of Chancery, together with any two or more of the Judges of the General Court, at such time and place, within the commonwealth, as shall be limited by summons to be sent to all the Judges from the Governor after the common course of the laws of this land, used for the like offences committed within the body of a county.
The said Judges shall enquire of such offences by a grand jury of the county where the court shall sit, and upon every indictment for any such offence, such order and process shall be practised against the offenders as by the laws of this land is accustomed against those committing the like offences within the body of a county; and the trial of such offences, if denied by the offender, shall be had by twelve lawful men, inhabitants of the county where the offender was apprehended; and such as shall be convict of any such offence, shall suffer such pains, losses of lands, goods and chattels as if they had been attainted and convicted of such offence done within the body of a county.2
The said Judges may adjourn, from time to time, as their will, till final determination, and shall be attended by the clerk and sheriff of the General Court, which sheriff shall execute their judgment and make return thereof to the said clerk by him to be recorded together with all the proceedings.
Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 48. Text of Act as adopted is in Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 330–1.
See TJ’s Bill for the Trial of Offenses Committed Out of Virginia, printed under 5 Dec. 1776. The Committee’s Bill No. 66 was presented by Madison 31 Oct. 1785 and referred to the committee of the whole. On 14 Dec. action was postponed to the next session. The Bill was presented again on 1 Nov. 1786 and committed to a committee of the whole, considered and agreed to 11 Nov., read third time and recommitted 13 Nov., amended 21 Nov., and passed by the House the next day; amended by the Senate 27 Nov. and Senate amendment agreed to by the House the same day (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1785, 1828 edn., p. 12–15, 92; same, Oct. 1786, p. 16–17, 35, 36, 53, 54, 64, 127). The Act as finally adopted differs from the Bill as proposed in the manner indicated below. Operation of Act suspended until 1 July 1787 (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xi, 410–11).
1. The remainder of the Bill (with the exception noted below) was deleted by amendment and the following substituted: “by the general court, in the same manner as if the said offences had been committed within the body of a county.”
2. The words “and such as shall be convict … the body of a county” are included in the Act.