Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bill would allow discovery of police offense reports

Sen. John Carona has filed legislation to require District Attorneys to release police-generate offense reports to defense counsel in criminal cases, though details could be redacted for "good cause" and the bill would prohibit sharing the information outside the defendant's legal team. This would be a significant discovery reform, though I'd personally like to see exceptions tightened up.

See the text of SB 661 (pdf) for more details.

UPDATE: See a related bill just filed in the House, HB 1104, by Rep. Ryan Guillen.

3 comments:

Mented said...

Smart DAs already share the offense report if for no other reason than to save money fighting Brady appeals.

Anonymous said...

Well, the system is lacking "smart DA's: and even police officers for that matter. What I have seen from Collin County and Harris County that the police fudge police reports, change them, and even lie on them. Alot could be accomplished if the police reports, could be released to the defense team...but first, the brady violations have not been enforced. Not one prosecution has come to shaddy judges (that date or have affairs with the DA's while trying a case), not one prosecution has come from a judges failure to sustain an objection from a defense counsel that violates judicial prudence or sanity and what about the police reports in a juvenile case. Maybe the parents desire the police reports. Inspite of popular belief, some parents are smart enough to see through less then admiral actions. So, I would like to see police reports released...but let's include the people that matter in a whole, give a time limit, leave it open for possible other "defenses". In Pro Per is acceptable and becoming common practice since bills are mounting from attorneys and assigned attorneys abilites, qualities and capabilities are suspect to not only the defendant but the family of such. So, I want to see the bill pass...like many...but the endless loopholes and fox holes will inevitably become a mountain.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have an ethical DA than a "smart" DA any day.