More on discovery violations in the 9th circuit

The Charleston Post and Courier is reporting that an assistant solicitor in the 9th circuit was found to have withheld evidence in a trial today – the defendant is charged with a double homicide, the state has mis-tried the case twice already, and the assistant solicitor elicited testimony from a detective about a statement allegedly made by the defendant that had never been turned over to the defense, that was not in any of the state’s reports, and that had never been mentioned in the previous two trials:

[Judge] Nicholson found that Assistant Solicitor Greg Voigt had violated a rule requiring the disclosure of information that prosecutors intend to offer as evidence during a trial. It’s the same issue that drove a group of defense attorneys to recently request a state investigation into whether it’s a deliberate practice in the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Instead of scuttling another trial, Nicholson told jurors to disregard that portion of Boone’s testimony when they deliberate Williams’ fate Thursday.

It may be that the assistant solicitor in this case didn’t know that the evidence had not been disclosed – according to the article, there was a different prosecutor for the first two trials.  If that is true, if it was not an intentional violation, it still shows a lack of preparation – he was responsible for learning the file and making sure that all evidence had been turned over before the trial began.  And, when there is a pattern of repeated discovery violations and other misconduct coming out of the same office, where does the blame lie?

Scarlett Wilson, who is in charge of the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s office and responsible for the training and supervision of the assistant solicitors there, led the charge to lambast Justice Beatty following his remarks at the solicitor’s conference, sending a much-publicized letter to the S.C. Attorney General asking for his assistance in having Justice Beatty recused from all criminal appeals and disciplinary matters that involve prosecutors.

One Response to “More on discovery violations in the 9th circuit

  • Thanks for providing this information to the public. It seems this is the norm in the 9th Circuit. In my own case I can’t seem to get the evidence that is obvious to my case. If I file a complaint then I get a mad PD and I have no lawyer to defend me. There is no course for the accused. They are dragging the case out and not giving the evidence that will prove my innocence. Both the prosecutor and the PD know what they are doing. It is a conspiracy of the worst kind.

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