Collection Summary

Creator: Kneedler, H. Lane
Title: The Papers of H. Lane Kneedler: Legislative History of Virginia's Criminal Assault Law, 1977 - 1981 [COSAR]
Accession: MSS 81-1
Description: 11 boxes; 4.5 linear feet.
Location: This collection is stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections before your visit to ensure your papers are available.
Photograph Collection: View 0 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 0 objects
Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions.

Collection Description & Arrangement

This collection includes Kneedler's correspondence, notes and memoranda; minutes, agenda and memoranda written by the Task Force members; audio cassette tapes of initial drafting sessions for the bill; correspondence from COSAR leaders; research papers written by Kneedler's assistants, and secondary material such as photocopies of case material; drafts of S. B. 291 and 258, as well as several alternatives; and newsclippings about the topic of rape and about the progress of the legislation through four sessions in the General Assembly.

Biographical & Historical Information

In 1976 the General Assembly appointed the State Crime Commission which in turn established the Advisory Task Force to Study Criminal Sexual Assault. The Task Force met for the first time October 18, 1976, and five committees were charged with studying the crime, its impact, prevention and punishment. Lane Kneedler was appointed to the Court Process Committee which later merged with the Legislation Committee as the drafting of the bill began; the other committees were Treatment, Rehabilitation and Punishment; Law Enforcement; and Public Education. All the committees carried on research and held public hearings before making recommendations.

The Virginia Committee on Sexual Assault Reform (COSAR), a citizen's interest group, had formed at approximately the same time the Crime Commission was getting started, so its leaders were appointed to most of these committees. In May 1977, COSAR presented a proposed criminal sexual assault reform bill to the Legislation Committee. By the late fall of that year, Kneedler and his research assistants made recommendations to the merged committees on the proposed bill which in January of 1978 became S. B. 291. Introduced by Senator Stanley Walker, it passed the Senate by a vote of 32-6. S. B. 291 then went before the House Courts of Justice Committee where it was amended; in the 1979 session the bill passed the House by a vote of 77-21, but the Senate rejected a conference committee report on it. Consequently, S. B. 291, in 1979 sponsored by Senator Joseph Gartlan, died with the close of the session

Task Force members and additional legislators revised the bill in the summer and fall of 1979. The resulting S. B. 258, sponsored by Senator Frederick Boucher, was diligently studied by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee in early 1980. On February 18, the bill carried the committee, 11-4, and passes the Senate the same day by a vote 31-9. The House Courts of Justice Committee, however, voted to carry the bill over to the 1981 session.

A special committee to study S. B. 258 was appointed in June of 1980, but this committee, in fact, did not work on the bill. Task Force members and representatives of the Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys, the principal opponents of the bill, constructed a compromise version of it. The Task Force members were Senators Boucher and Gartlan, Ann Warshauer of COSAR, and Lane Kneedler; the VACA was represented by William Person and Daniel Chichester, President and Past-President, respectively, and by Robert Horan, Chairman of the Legislation Committee

The compromise version of S. B. 258 passed the House Courts of Justice Committee with an amendment to the evidence section by Delegate Robrecht. Before the House that amendment was defeated and replaced by a more specific one sponsored by Delegate Theodore Morrison; the deletion of the section on spousal rape was the only other change to the compromise bill. S. B. 258 passed the House by a vote of 98-1 on January 28. At this point the VACA withdrew its support of the bill because of the Morrison amendment, but the group did not fight its passage in the Senate. S. B. 258 was signed into law by Governor John Dalton in March of 1981 and went into effect on the first of July.

Acquisition Information

Date Received 1981
Donor Information H. Lane Kneedler gave this collection of working papers to Special Collections in May of 1981.

Content List

Box 1:

  • H. Lane Kneedler's Notes 1976-1981, n.d.
  • HLK's Correspondence 1977-1981 [4 folders]
  • HLK's Speeches on S. B. 291 1977-1981

Box 2:

  • "Sexual Assault Law Reform in Virginia"-Law Review Article by HLK and A. Gordon; handwritten draft [1980?]
  • "Sexual Assault Law Reform in Virginia"-Law Review Article by HLK and A. Gordon; typewritten copies with editors' changes [1980?]
  • ALI Model Penal Code Section 213, written by Peter Low and John Jeffries 1978; [2 folders]
  • Committee on Sexual Assault Reform (COSAR)-newsletters and memos 1979-1981
  • COSAR-Comprehensive Bill 1977
  • Memos to CSA (Committee on Sexual Assault) Task Force Members 1976-1980; [2 folders]
  • Agenda, Statements, Notes, etc. from Public Hearings Held by CSA Task Force 1977-1980

Box 3:

  • Task Force Subcommittee Reports 1977
  • Task Force Background Materials on Sexual Assault 1976
  • Interim Report of the Advisory Task Force to Study Criminal Sexual Assault for the Virginia Crime Commission 1978
  • Annual Reports of the Virginia Crime Commission 1976, 1977
  • Commonwealth's Attorneys Association--HLKs' notes included 1979-1980
  • Speech by Stanley Walker for Commonwealth's Attorneys 1978 Aug 3
  • Parkerson Study Committee 1979
  • Lists of Names of People Involved in the CSA Legislation 1980-1981
  • Memos Prepared by Research Assistants for the Task Force 1977-1979; [8 folders]

Box 4:

  • Memos Prepared by Research Assistants for the Task Force 1977-1979; [8 folders]
  • Memos Prepared for Senate and House Committees 1978-1979
  • Miscellaneous Research Material Gathered by Assistants 1976-1980
  • Research Assistants' Work and Billing 1977, 1980
  • Published Secondary Articles 1979; [3 folders]

Box 5:

  • Published Secondary Articles 1979; [3 folders]
  • Unpublished Secondary Articles 1976-1979
  • Miscellaneous Printed Secondary Material n.d.
  • National Criminal Justice Referral Service: Battered Women 1978

Box 6:

  • National Criminal Justice Reference Service: Rape 1979; [2 folders]
  • National Criminal Justice Reference Service: Child Abuse 1979; [2 folders]
  • Case Material; [9 folders]

Box 7:

  • Case Material; [9 folders]

Box 8:

  • States' Rape Laws; [3 folders]
  • Records and Schedules of Votes on S. B. 291 and 258 1978-1981
  • Senate Joint Resolution 34 1978 Jan 26
  • S. B. 291--Drafts with HLK's annotations 1978 Feb-1979 Dec and n.d.; [2 folders]
  • S. B. 291--Printed with HLK's annotations 1978 Jan-1979 Jan
  • S. B. 291--Amendments in HLK's hand n.d.
  • S. B. 291--Commentary 1978, 1979

Box 9:

  • S. B. 291--Bound Commentary 1978; [2 copies]
  • S. B. 258--Drafts with HLK's annotations 1979 Dec-1980 Mar; [2 folders]
  • S. B. 258--Printed with HLK's annotations 1980 Jan, Feb
  • S. B. 258--Amendments in HLK's hand 1980, 1981; [2 folders]
  • S. B. 258--Commentary 1980, 1981
  • S. B. 258--Drafts # 1, 2 and 3 with HLK's annotations 1980 Sept

Box 10:

  • S. B. 258--Drafts with HLK's annotations 1980 Nov
  • S. B. 258 Draft unannotated 1980 Dec
  • S. B. 258--Draft with HLK's annotations 1981 Jan
  • S. B. 258-Joint Conference Committee Report 1981 Feb 18
  • S. B. 258--Printed with changes in HLK's hand 1981 Jan, Feb, Apr
  • H. B. 988 and Commentary 1978
  • S. B. 180--Printed 1978 Jan
  • S. B. 157--Printed 1980 Jan
  • H. B. 1551--Printed [1981]
  • House of Delegates Calendars 1981 Jan 27 and 28
  • Newsclippings 1977-1981 and n.d.; [2 folders]

Box 11:

  • Legislative and Court Process Subcommittee Tapes 1977 May-Dec; 25 [Tapes]




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