Sunday, November 19, 2017

New York adopts new rule requiring judges to remind prosecutors to comply with duty to disclose exculpatory evidence

In response to the efforts of a task force convened by the state’s chief judge to address the causes of wrongful convictions in New York, beginning in January, judges will be required to issue an order reminding prosecutors of their obligation to turn over “information favorable to the defense” in all criminal cases.  According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 38% of the 234 exonerations in New York state have involved violations of the duty to disclose exculpatory evidence.  You can read the press release announcing the new rule here.  (This link also includes the task force's report, which makes a number of other recommendations worth reading.)  The new rule also directs judges to remind defense lawyers of their duty to provide effective assistance of counsel under Constitutional standards.   The ABA Journal has more on the story here.

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