Two recent articles have again pointed out some of the issues with the current discovery rules in criminal cases, which have unfortunately lead to abuse by representatives of the State. Under the current rules, the Prosecution is supposed to produce a variety of documentation in discovery such as: all arguably relevant documents, witness names /statements, scientific evidence, tape recordings, relevant correspondence, etc. The State has an obligation to produce any exculpatory materials "Brady material" and materials that would tend to impeach government witnesses or contradict government arguments "Giglio material".
The recent articles note that organizations such as the Innocence Project and Centurion Ministries continue working to overturn unjust convictions obtained in cases where prosecutors acted improperly. The authors of the articles, and many in North Carolina, are starting to wonder why there is such a double standard for the way the court system treats normal Defendants, as compared to prosecutors who are discovered to have engaged in such clear misconduct.
The articles point out that normal sentencing guidelines have some combination of (1) deterrence, (2) protection of society, and (3) retribution components. The authors reveal clear frustration that, despite past incidents of clear willful misconduct of Prosecutors, there has been a lack of punishment by both the Bar and authorities. In the author's mind, such scenarios have been handled with "kid gloves".