Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act

On the day that the 514-page report detailing the prosecutorial misconduct in the Ted Stevens case, Senator Murkowski (R-Alaska) proposed legislation to reform Brady disclosure by federal prosecutors.  It is entirely non-controversial and has support of both Democrats and Republicans.  One problem -- DOJ will oppose the bill.  And for no good reason except that it doesn't want to have to turn over favorable information if its not material. 

Here's Sen. Murkowski explaining why the legislation is needed:

It is the solemn responsibility of federal prosecutors to secure justice -- not simply convictions. It is the responsibility of the government to prove an individual's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and if the government cannot, it is expected to voluntarily abandon the case. To keep Americans' faith in the system we must raise the standards for government prosecutors and cut the chances that we will see the same "hide the ball" tactics Sen. Stevens faced.
The Stevens case was not unique.

Read more here:
Enough is enough.
When his conviction was overturned, Sen. Stevens said, "What some members of the prosecution team did nearly destroyed my faith." Ted Stevens was a life-long public servant. He and all Americans deserve to have full faith in the judicial system in this country.
We cannot allow the government to have a finger on the scales of justice. My bill will ensure that another legacy of the Alaskan of the 20th Century is fairness and justice for the centuries ahead.

Senator Murkowski is my new favorite Senator.

Read more here:


Anonymous said...

Per the NY Times article about withholding exculpatory evidence from Ted Stevens defense team: "The report notes that after Mr. Stevens insisted on a quicker trial than prosecutors had anticipated, officials scrambled to put the complex case together quickly. Amid the chaos, it said, the prosecutors most directly involved in the case 'never conducted or supervised a comprehensive and effective review for exculpatory information.'"

They have a team of prosecutors and no one noticed that the most important government snitch -- I mean witness -- had made inconsistent statements? Really? It's outrageous.

Rumpole said...

I like Chuck Shuminer.

Bob Becerra said...

There really is no reason to oppose this legislation. If it even smells exculpatory, turn it over, and with a smile on your face. The government has the facts, the agents and a "trial team". Level the playing field.

Anonymous said...

In 25 years of practice I have never had the Govt turn over any evidence in mitigation, as is required in the sdo. Has anybody?

Anonymous said...

any yet after the fcpa "squad" gets its teeth kicked in in cali, texas and in DC , each time being called to the matt by a different federal judge (each conservative) for prosecutorial misconduct and dishonesty, lanny breur's response is to blame slick fat cat defense lawyers fattened by the money their clients have earned through criminal conduct.

sick. and breuer just keeps soiling what remains of the integrity of the DOJ...

Anonymous said...

1154, what case are you referring too.