Barriers to Discovery in Criminal Defense

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The limitations on discovery in federal criminal prosecutions require defense counsel to be on the top of their game in every case (i.e., they must apply their energy and creativity toward aggressively pursuing every relevant fact). This is particularly true in the complex and document-intensive white collar context, the focus of this chapter. What follows is a brief analysis of two of the primary sources of “discovery” in criminal cases—Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16—and their effectiveness in providing defendants access to important information and documents before trial. 

Reprinted with permission from Thomson Reuters, ©2013.

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