Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/29/1996 01:30 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                HB  25 CRIMINAL DISCOVERY RULES                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PARNELL, sponsor of HB 25, explained the bill                 
 pertains to criminal rules of discovery.  In the civil context,               
 discovery is an open exchange of relevant and non-privileged                  
 information.  In the criminal context, the flow of information is             
 a one-way street: from the prosecution to the defense.  HB 25                 
 requires reciprocal discovery.  He referred to a spreadsheet in               
 members' packets delineating who would be required to provide what            
 information at what time.  The underlying issue is fairness; HB 25            
 will eliminate surprise witnesses, will avoid delays in trial, will           
 inform victims and witnesses whether their character or distant               
 past will be questioned in court and will guarantee a fair process            
 when confidential records are sought by the defense.  HB 25 still             
 gives the defense early access to information about the                       
 prosecution's case, and contains a uniform procedure for the                  
 defense to get access to confidential records.  Most requirements             
 on the spreadsheet are from Rule 16, the others are from the                  
 American Bar Association's Model Criminal Code.  The Department of            
 Law and Public Defenders' Office have provided input on HB 25.                
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked Ms. Carpeneti if the Department of Law                  
 supports HB 25.  MS. CARPENETI replied the Department strongly                
 supports HB 25 and worked extensively with Representative Parnell's           
 staff and the Public Defenders' Agency to address concerns.                   
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR noted it is his understanding the Public Defenders'           
 Office does not object to this legislation.                                   
 Number 358                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN TAYLOR congratulated Representative Parnell for working on           
 this legislation as it will provide a roadmap for those people                
 involved in the practice of criminal law.                                     
 SENATOR GREEN moved CSHB 25(FIN) from committee with individual               
 recommendations.  There being no objection, the motion carried.               

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