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.

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