Prosecutorial Disclosure Obligations
Volume 62, Issue 5, 1321-1348
Prosecutorial disclosure of information to the defense has long been recognized as essential to a fair criminal justice system and yet, the required disclosure is ill defined and the subject of ongoing contention. Prosecutor’s obligations are informed by various sources including state and federal constitutional provisions, statutes, court rules and state ethics rules. The ABA Criminal Justice Standards, another source defining that obligation, can and have served as guidance for judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers, notably in areas of ambiguity. Those Standards were recently revised to provide greater clarity as to the scope of what information should be provided to the defense and the timing of the disclosure duty. This Article explores the changes made by the revisions as well as areas—such as e-discovery—that were not included.