So that's an interesting twist, huh? I hadn't considered that just because Texas doesn't have strong criminal discovery laws wouldn't prohibit judges from requiring more disclosure if they choose to do so.I read what you wrote in GFB about discovery in criminal cases. I make both the prosecutor & defense attorney enter into an agreed discovery order (attached) when they come to court for their status conference to set the trial date. This is either the first or second appearance they make. If they do not sign it, or just one side signs it, I enter the order anyway.Everyone knows this discovery is ordered in every case. And they know I will enforce it. I got input from several prosecutors & defense attorneys when I drafted it. If they have something unusual that is not provided for in the order, the defense can file a motion & have a hearing.
As a commenter in the last post on discovery pointed out, defendants rightly enjoy extra protections in "discovery." Because of the constitutional right not to incriminate oneself, there's a limit to how much information defendants can or should be required to give. I've always wondered whether requiring "mutual" discovery, including that the defense divulge information, might potentially cross that line? Judge Criss' order tells defendants to give up names of witnesses and any written witness statements -that's not as expansive as federal discovery rules. That might be a good compromise on which to model a stronger Texas discovery statute.
You legal eagles in the crowd let me know what you think of Judge Criss' discovery order, and thanks, Judge, for sharing it.