Friday, May 22, 2015
In today's Explainer Episode of the Undisclosed Podcast, I noted how Adnan's attorney had cited several cases in support of the claim that it is "in the interests of justice" to reopen Adnan's postconviction proceeding so that Asia McClain can testify. The two cases that I mentioned are Campbell v. State, 376 A.2d 866 (Md.App. 1977), and Curry v. State, 458 A.2d 474 (Md.App. 1983), which I blogged about here. Those aren't, however, the only cases that he cited. Another case is Wiener v. State, 430 A.2d 588 (Md. 1981), which isn't factually similar to Adnan's case but is interesting nonetheless.
In Wiener, Scott Wiener was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree rape. Wiener was represented by the Public Defender of Anne Arundel County, who also maintained a private practice. That practice was being investigated by the State Attorney General, who thought that the Public Defender was misusing state services and personnel in his private practice. As a result, the Assistant Attorney General told a law student intern to go undercover, volunteering for the Public Defender so that he could uncover any improprieties. The student was told that "(i)f there should come a time when it is necessary to choose between observing privileged material and revealing your 'cover,' you are to contact me immediately for guidance."
After Wiener was convicted, he had lengthy appeals, which ultimately resulted in the Court of Appeals of Maryland issuing a limited remand in the interests of justice. While the Assistant Attorney General claimed that the law student never disclosed to the AG's office what he learned while working for the Public Defender, the court found that the possibility of prosecutorial misconduct was enough to require further evidence and testimony on the issue.