Any real evidence that the defendant intends to present as evidence at trial (tangible objects, such as a knife or an article of clothing). It addresses the disclosure of information about possible impeachment proceedings to United States prosecutors and to contentious sections of the Department of Justice with authority to prosecute criminal cases (Department of Justice prosecutors). While discovery issues are often the subject of litigation in criminal cases, keeping track of disclosures limits litigation to substantive issues and prevents protracted disputes over what has been released. Rule 16 of the Federal Criminal Procedure Regulations sets out three disclosure responsibilities for prosecutors that may be relevant to forensic evidence.
However, potential dismissal information has generally been defined as dismissal information that is important to the defense. In cases where there is voluminous evidence obtained from third parties, prosecutors should consider allowing the defense access to bulky documents to avoid the possibility that a well-intentioned review process will fail to identify material evidence that could be discovered. It does not address the question of what information the prosecution must submit to the defense or to the court if it is examined behind closed doors. This recording function also extends to information that prosecutors are required to disclose under Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 16 and 26.2 and the Jencks Act.
If the prosecutor chooses this route, the defense must be informed that he is choosing to present evidence beyond what is required in the circumstances of the case, but that he is not committing to assuming any obligation to submit evidence beyond those established above. Before disclosing them, prosecutors should consult with the investigating body to assess such risks and develop a strategy to address or minimize them as much as possible, in accordance with evidence reporting obligations. On December 9, 1996, the Attorney General issued a policy regarding the disclosure to prosecutors of possible information relating to the removal of witnesses from law enforcement agencies (Giglio Policy). However, depending on the complexity of the forensic evidence or on whether several forensic tests have been performed, the process can be complicated because it may require the prosecutor to work together with several forensic scientists to identify and prepare additional relevant information for release.
While prosecutors often consult with forensic experts to understand the tests or experiments performed, the responsibility for disclosure ultimately lies with the prosecutor assigned to the case. If the electronic communication contains sensitive information, the prosecutor should consider filing a request for a protection order, seeking approval from a supervisor to delay disclosure, drafting appropriate drafts, summarizing the content of an electronic communication in a letter instead of disclosing the electronic communication itself, or taking other safeguards. In addition, in the case of forensic witnesses employed by the government, Giglio's information must be collected from the employing agency and examined for possible disclosure. In addition, because the concept of “file” is imprecise, such representation exposes the prosecutor to broader disclosure requirements than expected or to penalties for not disclosing documents.
These are the minimum requirements, and the Department's discovery policies require disclosure beyond these thresholds.