Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Attorney General Announces Increased Training, Review of Process for Providing Materials to Defense in Criminal Cases

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today announced comprehensive steps to enhance the Justice Department’s compliance with rules that require the government to turn over certain types of evidence to the defense in criminal cases.

"I am committed to ensuring that our prosecutors are provided sufficient training to understand fully their discovery obligations, and that they receive the support and resources necessary to do their jobs in a manner consistent with the proud traditions of this Department," Attorney General Holder said.

"The actions we are taking today are part of an ongoing process to ensure justice is served in every case the Department brings. We will continue to review how cases are managed before, during and after charges are filed, and where there is room for improvement, we will make additional changes," Holder said.

Actions initiated by the Department today include:

  • Providing supplemental training to federal prosecutors throughout the Department on their discovery obligations in criminal cases. Training will begin in the coming weeks.
  • Establishing a working group of senior prosecutors and Department officials from each component to review the discovery practices in criminal cases. The working group, to be headed by the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division and the Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, will review the need for:
    • Improvements to practices and policies related to the government’s obligations to provide material to the defense in criminal matters;
    • Additional resources, including staffing and information technology, needed to help prosecutors fulfill their discovery obligations;
    • Additional discovery-related training for other Department prosecutors.
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