The rules of discovery also incorporate ethical considerations and sanctions for the failure to disclose information as required. Failure to disclose required information may result in:
- A court order directing the disclosure or production.
- A motion to continue the case.
- A court order that limits or prohibits the party from introducing the undisclosed evidence.
- An order precluding the expert from testifying.
- Any other order authorized or deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), significantly impacts the discovery process. In Brady, the Court imposed a constitutional duty on prosecutors to disclose evidence that is favorable to the accused.
Withholding of exculpatory evidence by prosecutors may violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution and could result in a mistrial, retrial or dismissal. The obligation under Brady extends to laboratory and law enforcement personnel as well.
For witnesses testifying for the government in federal court, the cases of Giglio and Henthorn impose a duty to produce any information that supports the veracity of the witness or could be used to impeach the witness. States may also have similar obligations. Instead, the expert should always ask the retaining attorney what statutory rules or guidelines may apply in the relevant jurisdiction.
Additional Online Courses
- What Every First Responding Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence
- Collecting DNA Evidence at Property Crime Scenes
- DNA – A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook
- Crime Scene and DNA Basics
- Laboratory Safety Programs
- DNA Amplification
- Population Genetics and Statistics
- Non-STR DNA Markers: SNPs, Y-STRs, LCN and mtDNA
- Firearms Examiner Training
- Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers
- What Every Investigator and Evidence Technician Should Know About DNA Evidence
- Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court
- Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert
- Laboratory Orientation and Testing of Body Fluids and Tissues
- DNA Extraction and Quantitation
- STR Data Analysis and Interpretation
- Communication Skills, Report Writing, and Courtroom Testimony
- Español for Law Enforcement
- Amplified DNA Product Separation for Forensic Analysts