CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Symposium on Brady and other disclosure obligations

Yaroshefsky_ellen Ellen Yaroshefsky (pictured) (Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law) has posted Foreword - New Perspectives on Brady and Other Disclosure Obligations: What Really Works? on SSRN, and she and Jennifer Blasser  (Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law) have posted New Perspectives on Brady and Other Disclosure Obligations: Report of the Working Groups on Best Practices on SSRN. Here is the abstract for the foreword:

Nearly fifty years after the Supreme Court decided Brady v. Maryland, state and federal criminal justice systems appear less than adequate in assuring that prosecutorial disclosure obligations are met. Recent high-publicity cases have highlighted failures to disclose fundamental exculpatory evidence to the defense, whether intentional or not. A November 2009 symposium at the Cardozo School of Law - New Perspectives on Brady and Other Disclosure Obligations: What Really Works? - explored these issues in a unique framework for the criminal justice system. It considered lessons from the fields of medicine, business, psychology, and policing as to their methods for managing information, optimizing performance, and insuring quality. This Foreword provides an overview of the discussions, reports, and papers from the symposium.

And here is the abstract for the other piece:

The most effective and ethical prosecutor’s office is one where the leader sets a tone of ethical behavior, then hires and trains lawyers with good character and good judgment. In November 2009, the Symposium, New Perspectives on Brady and Other Disclosure Obligations: What Really Works?, convened at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law to explore and identify the best practices that lead to such an office. Participants in the Symposium—including
representatives from state and federal prosecutors’ offices, defense lawyers, judges, legal academics, cognitive scientists, social psychologists, doctors, as well as members of the medical and corporate risk management fields—took an inter-professional approach to the core issues affecting prosecutors’ offices from around the country.

To structure the discussion in advance of the Symposium approximately seventy-five participants were split into six Working Groups, each meeting to discuss a core issue. Each group had a reporter and a discussion leader who circulated to the participants short papers setting forth the issues and alternative views. During the Symposium, the groups met for five hours to discuss the issues and to try to reach a consensus about particular practices. This Article presents the findings of each of the six Working Groups.

Part I discusses prosecutorial disclosure obligations and practices. Part II discusses the disclosure process. Part III discusses training and supervision. Part IV discusses systems and culture. Parts V and VI discuss internal and external regulation, respectively.

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