Thursday, August 18, 2011

Prosecutor gets slap on the wrist for violation of duty to disclose information to the defense

The Legal Profession blog is reporting today that the Virginia State bar agreed to accept a prosecutor's agreed disposition (ie, a plea agreement) to get a public reprimand after admitting to having failed to make a timely disclosure to a defendant’s counsel of evidence that could negate the guilt of the accused, mitigate the degree of the offense or reduce the punishment.

To this I say: shame on the Virginia State bar.  Given the many recent reports of prosecutorial misconduct around the country, the recent changes to the Model Rules (now adopted in at least 46 states) that impose specific duties on prosecutors and the US Supreme Court's recent decisions related to the misconduct of prosecutors for this exact same conduct, the choice of a reprimand as a sanction is disturbing. It gives the impression the Virginia bar does not really find the conduct was that bad and that it does not care that much prosecutors are violating the rules.

For more on the story go here.

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