Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Waiving Prosecutorial Disclosure in the Guilty Plea Process: A Debate on the Merits of "Discovery" Waivers

Erica G. Franklin
Stanford Law Review
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Feb., 1999), pp. 567-595
Published by: Stanford Law Review
DOI: 10.2307/1229265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1229265
Page Count: 29
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Waiving Prosecutorial Disclosure in the Guilty Plea Process: A Debate on the Merits of "Discovery" Waivers
Preview not available

Abstract

Some U. S. Attorneys' have added to their plea bargain contracts a waiver of the defendant's right to additional discovery, which may include evidence impeaching the credibility of witnesses. Consequently, many prosecutors in these districts neither review the files of key witnesses nor disclose any impeaching evidence to defense counsel after signing a plea agreement. Erica Franklin finds that these waivers raise several concerns. First, the waivers force defense attorneys into a difficult position-advising their clients to sign the plea agreement minimizes the possibility that significant exculpatory or impeaching evidence will appear. Second, the waivers may violate a defendant's constitutional right to receive from the prosecutor all material evidence bearing on his guilt or innocence as articulated in Brady v. Maryland. In examining the impact of the waivers on defense counsel and on defendants' Brady rights, Franklin concludes that if a waiver raises a Brady issue, courts are unlikely to enforce it. From a policy standpoint, however, Franklin finds the waivers objectionable, even where no Brady issue exists, since they not only undermine the fairness and accuracy of the criminal justice system but also produce no significant benefit. In addition to removing the waivers from plea agreements, Franklin proposes requiring prosecutors to discover and disclose favorable information to the defense at the time of the plea.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
567
    567
  • Thumbnail: Page 
568
    568
  • Thumbnail: Page 
569
    569
  • Thumbnail: Page 
570
    570
  • Thumbnail: Page 
571
    571
  • Thumbnail: Page 
572
    572
  • Thumbnail: Page 
573
    573
  • Thumbnail: Page 
574
    574
  • Thumbnail: Page 
575
    575
  • Thumbnail: Page 
576
    576
  • Thumbnail: Page 
577
    577
  • Thumbnail: Page 
578
    578
  • Thumbnail: Page 
579
    579
  • Thumbnail: Page 
580
    580
  • Thumbnail: Page 
581
    581
  • Thumbnail: Page 
582
    582
  • Thumbnail: Page 
583
    583
  • Thumbnail: Page 
584
    584
  • Thumbnail: Page 
585
    585
  • Thumbnail: Page 
586
    586
  • Thumbnail: Page 
587
    587
  • Thumbnail: Page 
588
    588
  • Thumbnail: Page 
589
    589
  • Thumbnail: Page 
590
    590
  • Thumbnail: Page 
591
    591
  • Thumbnail: Page 
592
    592
  • Thumbnail: Page 
593
    593
  • Thumbnail: Page 
594
    594
  • Thumbnail: Page 
595
    595