For the professional edge in your day-to-day practice, rely on the most timely, objective reporting on significant developments, trends, and emerging patterns in criminal law today—Criminal Law...
A prosecutor who failed to disclose a witness statement before trial wasn’t unethical, the Georgia Supreme Court held May 1 ( In re Lee , 2017 BL 143227, Ga., No. S16Y0832, 5/1/17 ).
Prosecutors “play with fire” when they delay disclosure, but the court nonetheless ruled unanimously in Demone Wyatt Lee’s favor.
The Georgia state bar failed to show a “clear-cut” violation of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and a Georgia state ethics rule, both of which demand disclosure of favorable defense evidence, the court said.
Lee didn’t act intentionally or in “bad faith,” so attorney discipline wasn’t warranted, the court said.
An attorney assigned as a “special master” to review the case argued Lee should receive a “formal admonition"; the state bar urged a more severe “public reprimand.”
Lee prosecuted a defendant charged with anal and oral sodomy of a child. He was assigned to the case a few weeks before trial.
About a week before trial, the child victim made a statement to Lee that was arguably inconsistent with the child’s previous anal sodomy claim.
Lee didn’t disclose this potentially inconsistent statement before trial, but it came out during the child’s trial testimony. The defense lawyer only learned about the pre-trial statement by overhearing Lee telling a juror about it after trial.
The defendant was convicted of oral sodomy and acquitted of anal sodomy.
The verdict showed the defendant wasn’t prejudiced by Lee’s failure to disclose the arguably inconsistent statement before trial, the court said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jordan S. Rubin in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: C. Reilly Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)