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NACDL News: Discovery Reform - Texas Governor Signs Michael Morton Act
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer
NACDL News columns.
On May 16, during the week that marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Brady v. Maryland, the state of Texas took a significant step toward the realization of the promise of Brady. On that date, Gov. Rick Perry signed into law Senate Bill 1611 — The Michael Morton Act. This bill delivers positive change to discovery in criminal cases in Texas. The new law codifies that prosecutors should make available to the defense, automatically upon request, all police offense reports and witness statements in their files.
“The systemic violation of Brady must stop. Texas has demonstrated that reform is possible,” NACDL President Steven D. Benjamin said after the governor signed the legislation. “NACDL supports these efforts, and the NACDL Task Force on Discovery Reform is developing model legislation to aid legislators in 50 states to ensure fair disclosure and due process for those accused of crime.”
To learn more about discovery reform and NACDL’s work in this area, please visit www.nacdl.org/discoveryreform.