Thursday, April 9, 2009

Withholding exculpatory evidence

"We now hold that the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution." -- Justice Douglas, Brady v. Maryland, 373 US 83 (1963)
"The prosecutor in a criminal case shall...make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal..." Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.09(d)
Perhaps Donna Hawkins of the Harris County District Attorney's Office should rethink her position that exculpatory material will only be turned over to attorneys and citizens accused upon request.

1 comment:

David Getman said...

Invoking the Rule is a common method of Withholding Exculpatory Evidence in [all] litigation. Rule 1 of Texas Rules of Civil Procedure is very clear. It is not[the] statutory and impartial trial by jury. Yellow Journalism prepares the Public's loss of facts. The abuse of process before trial replaces the accuseds' names and it is classified as DEFENDANT defendant