A View From Inside the Ropes: A Prosecutor’s Viewpoint on Disclosing Exculpatory Evidence
In late August 2009, after thirty years as a local and state prosecutor, I began a new position as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Hofstra University School of Law. Within three weeks of my first class, I received a call from Professor Roy D. Simon, the Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics at Hofstra, inviting me to attend the conference he had organized, “Power, Politics & Public Service: The Legal Ethics of Lawyers in Government,” and to supervise a “breakout session” with other conference participants. When I saw the distinguished panel Professor Simon had assembled for the conference, I replied by thanking him for the opportunity but suggested that I had nothing to contribute compared to the other speakers. Professor Simon responded that I possessed something unique that would be a useful addition to the program: a perspective based on a three-decade career of public service as a prosecutor.
I agreed to provide a career prosecutor’s viewpoint on fairness in general and disclosure obligations in particular.