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Pleading Blindly

Ellen S. Podgor

Stetson University College of Law

May 27, 2011

Mississippi Law Review, Vol. 80, No. 4, 2011
Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2010-08

In the criminal area, discovery violations are a continual concern. Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was caught with discovery violations that reflected prosecutorial misconduct and improprieties. To its credit, the DOJ issued three Memos that sought to affirmatively promote office compliance with discovery obligations. The three Memos of former Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, however, fall short in an important area, discovery for defendants prior to entering into plea agreements.

This Essay places this discussion in the backdrop of existing legal scholarship and existing precedent, most importantly the Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Ruiz, that provides little support for mandating discovery to defendants prior to entering into a plea agreement. Protecting the importance of a voluntary and knowing plea cannot be overlooked in assuring an efficient system of justice. Unique concerns are also noted when the government is entering into a deferred prosecution agreement with a corporation or other entity. This Essay advocates for a more forceful response than merely having DOJ guidelines to remedy discovery violations that may influence the entering of a plea.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: discovery, plea agreements, Department of Justice, deferred prosecution agreements

JEL Classification: K10, K14

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Date posted: September 6, 2010 ; Last revised: May 30, 2011

Suggested Citation

Podgor, Ellen S., Pleading Blindly (May 27, 2011). Mississippi Law Review, Vol. 80, No. 4, 2011; Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2010-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1672450

Contact Information

Ellen S. Podgor (Contact Author)
Stetson University College of Law ( email )
1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States
727 562 7348 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.stetson.edu/tmpl/faculty/memberProfile.aspx?id=88

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