Ever wonder why Texas has so many on death row? Or why so many were recently exonerated?
Look at these articles for a small window of perspective about what the citizens of Texas face.
The lack of strong discovery laws is part of what generates expensive, time consuming mistakes that seem to soak up so much of the justice system's energy and focus. Colfax and the Justice Project have done a mitzvah to draw attention to the problem.
And I’m sick of hearing that it is pro se litigants who “soak up so much of the justice system’s energy and focus.”
I Was The State article points to a comment posted at TDCAA (Texas District and County Attorneys Association):
Wait, I'm not sure I understand this opinion. The court talks about the defense needing to show "good cause" to be entitled to discovery. Then it comes out with this:quote:How is a DA policy that permits complete access to the file in exchange for not filing formal discovery somehow translate into "good cause" for ordering discovery?
But, in this case, we note that the trial judge was familiar with the open-file policy of the District Attorney. The policy would require a defendant to agree to forego filing or requesting a judicial ruling on any discovery motion in exchange for the District Attorney opening its case file to the defendant. The trial judge was acting within her discretion to consider that policy sufficient "good cause" in ordering discovery under article 39.14.
Follow the links, or find them below.
- Justice Project: Expand discovery in criminal cases (09/18/2007)
- Expanding Discovery in Criminal Cases
- Texas Needs Open File Discovery Laws (09/18/2007)
- Trial by ambush: Lack of pretrial discovery for defense thwarts justice (11/29/2006)
- Could you be innocent and still go to jail? (11/28/2006)
- ...Are Texas courts one big plea mill? (12/06/2005)
- ...The Justice Project Report: Expanded Discovery in Criminal Cases
- Discovery in Texas Criminal Cases (09/08/2007)
- TDCAA comments