I've had an open file policy for my entire career. Folks like my old boss, John Healey and my current boss, Bryan Goertz, mandated it. I never had a problem with it. They felt it necessary for the accused to know all the evidence against him and I have always agreed.And so on. The whole thing is worth a read. The Governor has already signed the "Michael Morton Act" so Mr. Breen is crying over spilled milk. Come January 1, 2014 it will be the law of the land.
If you search this forum you'll find some debates from years past between myself and former DA John Bradley. In those exchanges, I argued for an absolute open file policy like I practiced with. He disagreed.
Being the son of a former prosecutor and a long time defense attorney had convinced me that abuses in closed files could only be cured by having an open file. ...
My open file policy and my copied file policy have not prohibited me in the least from obtaining big sentences for bad violent criminals over the years. It has NEVER handicapped me even when it revealed facts adverse to my case. And of course, it eliminates a plethora of appellate issues.
I really recoiled in horror when former DA and now Judge Anderson testified to the effect that he wouldn't be much of a prosecutor these days if he had to give everything to the defense and that he would lose a lot.
When I've lost, it wasn't because of the open file policy but because of the facts and the truths they revealed.
RELATED: From the SA Express-News, "Bill requires new ethics training for prosecutors."