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NCJ Number: 99086 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Ethics Workshop - Prosecutorial Interference With Defense Access to Prospective Witnesses
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:21  Issue:4  Dated:(July-August 1985)  Pages:353-367
Author(s): S W Feldman
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses the substantive and procedural aspects of a defendant's right of pretrial access to prospective prosecution witnesses.
Abstract: The paper first considers the legal foundations of defendant rights to pretrial access to witnesses. The constitutional rights reviewed are those pertaining to due process, right to counsel, and the guarantee of compulsory process. Relevant court decisions applying these rights to defense access to witnesses are analyzed. The paper then examines the prerequisites for a prosecutor's constitutional violation of a defendant's right of pretrial access to a prospective prosecution winess. These prerequisites include (1) the prosecutor's acting without justification in constraining the free choice of the witness to speak with the defendant or defense counsel, (2) the prosecutor's prejudicing the defendant's right to a fair trial by obstructing witness access, and (3) the defendant's having exhausted reasonably available measures for alleviating the interference. Next, American Bar Association (ABA) Standards on the Prosecution and Defense Function are cited, as well as ABA's Model Code of Professional Responsibility, to show ethical considerations that support defense pretrial access to witnesses. The paper concludes with suggested steps for defense counsel in attempting to obtain pretrial access to an apparently reluctant witness. A total of 107 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Right to compulsory process; Right to counsel; Right to Due Process; Rights of the accused; Witnesses
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