Discovery Reform

Many recent cases have exposed the fact that federal Gavelprosecutors, whether through negligence or by design, all too often fail to abide by their constitutional duty to disclose favorable information to the defense. In 2012, NACDL’s Task Force on Discovery Reform drafted model legislation that would require disclosure of all evidence favorable to the accused, regardless of any assessment of whether the evidence was material.  This approach is embodied in the Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act, federal legislation introduced in 2012 by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), with bipartisan co-sponsorship and support from broad coalition ranging from the ACLU to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. NACDL has undertaken a number of research and advocacy projects to support this important measure.  NACDL is likewise supporting the efforts of its state affiliates -- through advocacy, resources, and model legislation -- to enact open-file discovery rules and legislation. In May 2013, NACDL commemorated the 50th anniversary of Brady v. Maryland by dedicating an issue of The Champion to the subject.

News Of Interest

"Prosecutors Must Turn Over Docs In Billionaire Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein Case," by John Pancenti, The Daily Business Review, April 22, 2014.

"A grassroots campaign in the Bronx is calling for open discovery laws in New York," by Denis Slattery, The New York Daily News, April 10, 2014.

"Notes Found as Brooklyn Detective’s Work Is Reviewed Could Exonerate Two Convicted of Murder," by Frances Robles, The New York Times, April 8, 2014.

"Sorry about your time on death row, pal. Nothing we can do.," by Radley Balko, The Washington Post, April 2, 2014.

"At Justice Department, a Watchdog on Graft Finds Its Teeth Again," by Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times, April 1, 2014.

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