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Pleading Blindly

Mississippi Law Review, Vol. 80, No. 4, 2011

Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2010-08

16 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2010 Last revised: 30 May 2011

Ellen S. Podgor

Stetson University College of Law

Date Written: May 27, 2011

Abstract

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.

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

JEL Classification: K10, K14

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

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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