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steven d. benjamin Betty Layne DesPortes is a criminal defense attorney with the Richmond, Virginia law firm of Benjamin & DesPortes. steven d. benjamin

Betty Layne DesPortesBetty Layne received her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and her MS in forensic science from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Betty Layne is a Past President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. She served as Chair of the Forensic Sciences Foundation, Inc. and on the American Bar Association's Task Force on Biological Evidence as a representative of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She also served on the ABA Task Force on the Presentation of Forensic Science Evidence.

She has actively sought reform of Virginia's indigent defense system and is committed to improving indigent defense forensic resources. In 1996, Betty Layne and her law partner, Steven D. Benjamin, obtained a landmark Virginia Supreme Court decision recognizing the constitutional right of an indigent criminal defendant to expert forensic assistance. Since 2005 she has assisted with speaker recruitment and planning of the Virginia Chief Justice's Advanced Indigent Criminal Defense Training Seminar.

In 2001, Betty Layne and Steve obtained the exoneration and release of Jeffrey David Cox, a man who was serving a life sentence for a murder he did not commit.


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Benjamin and DesPortes, P.C.
P.O. Box 2464 | Richmond, VA 23218-2464
1840 West Broad Street, Suite 100, Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: 804.788.4444

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