Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another little white lie?

During her campaign for Harris County District Attorney, former judge Pat Lykos promised that her office would make copies of offense reports available to the defense bar. Ten days into the new regime and the answer is still the same when a defense attorney asks for a copy of an offense report - "That's not our policy."

Offense reports, like accident reports and charging instruments, are public documents. The reports are placed in the state's file for viewing. But, somehow, making photocopies of those reports is verboten. To date, I have yet to hear a logical explanation from a prosecutor on why I can't have a copy of the report.

If the new regime can't keep this simple promise, what other campaigns lies will be revealed next?


Anonymous said...

1. The expense of the defense copy should not fall on the citizens of Harris County and the ADAs only have access to county printers.
2. Private information needs to be redacted which takes time and presents on overwhelming task when compared to the number of new offense reports each day, let alone the deluge of other To Dos.
3. Quid Pro Quo

Paul B. Kennedy said...

Thank you for your comment. Here's my response:

1. Most offense reports are but a page or two. If the county needs to charge for it, add it to the court costs.

2. Private information, such as social security numbers, can easily be redacted prior to the first setting (or whenever the report is received).

3. The burden is on the state to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt -- reciprocal discovery would be violative of the attorney work product privilege and the attorney-client privilege.