Prosecutors still playing games with discovery

United States v. Mott, once again, explores the prosecution obligation to disclose favorable evidence to the defense at court-martial.  In this case, the prosecutions own expert agreed with the defense theory as to the accused’s mental status.  None of this was disclosed to the defense.

In the instant case, this first step of analysis need not detain us. The Government concedes that their expert, Dr. Hagan, verbally informed the trial counsel that he agreed with the defense expert that the appellant suffered from a severe mental disease and that said disease caused the appellant not to understand the wrongfulness of his actions at the time of the charged misconduct. We have no doubt that knowledge of the existence of a Government medical expert whose professional opinion wholly supported the opinion of the defense expert is a fact both favorable to the appellant and material to an assessment of his guilt and/or punishment. We find, therefore, that the trial counsel’s failure to disclose the expert medical opinion of their expert, Dr. Hagan, was error.

“[N]eed not detain,” because it is patently obvious the information is discoverable.  This case is from RLSO Norfolk.  Doesn’t surprise me in the least.

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