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Letters: D.A.'s defendant directive isn't enough

June 16, 2013

Re "D.A. alters policy on evidence disclosure," June 12

While I applaud Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey's attempt to clarify her office's policies regarding when prosecutors are required to disclose evidence of police misconduct to defense attorneys, the directive still falls woefully short of the full transparency that is necessary to allow defense attorneys to investigate allegations of misconduct and prepare a defense where an officer's credibility is at issue.

While prosecutors "must now turn over all evidence favorable to defendants," prosecutors are still allowed to subjectively determine what is favorable. Lacey's directive does not adequately set forth the necessary steps a prosecutor must take to discover misconduct.

The better policy would be to allow defense attorneys unfettered access to all allegations of misconduct, under a protective order that would prevent the allegations from public disclosure. Until that happens, defense attorneys such as myself will remain suspicious that prosecutors are playing "hide the ball."

Mike Cavalluzzi



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