Another Call For “Open File”

A lengthy article by Emily Bazelon in the NY Times Magazine examines in detail the case of Noura Jackson, a Tennessee woman convicted of murder after prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence. Bazelon uses the case to illustrate a larger policy discussion of the dangers of a “win at all costs” culture in DA offices, the ways in which withholding evidence may become ingrained in the training oil new DA’s, the lack of meaningful consequences for prosecutorial misconduct such as withholding evidence. The article concludes with a review of the movement towards “open file” laws and policies, including the Michael Morton case that resulted in the prosecution of a former DA and sitting judge, and the implementation of an open file policy in the DA’s office n Tennessee   where Noura Jackson was prosecuted.

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