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DOJ Needs Oversight to Shape Up Discovery Practices (From the President)
By Jim E. Lavine; Ellen S. Podgor
the President” is my regular column on a topical issue. This month I
asked Professor Ellen S. Podgor, who has written extensively on
prosecutorial misconduct issues at Stetson University College of Law, to
co-author the column with me.
These past few weeks have been tough ones for the
Department of Justice. The agency had two convictions from the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated due to discovery
violations. In a third case from a federal district court in Maryland,
the judge told DOJ to start over in its prosecution of a former
pharmaceutical executive. The irony is that in the Ninth Circuit cases
the government is failing to comply with constitutional mandates for
discovery, and in the Maryland case the government is prosecuting
someone for failing to comply with its request for information.
Two years ago, federal prosecutors were caught
violating constitutional mandates that required them to share discovery
with lawyers for accused U
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