He’s already savaged the Justice Department in court and launched a criminal contempt probe into the wreckage of the Ted Stevens trial. So what’s next for U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan? Apparently a little lobbying.
Sullivan, who sits on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, sent a letter to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee this week urging it to make changes to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that would require prosecutors to hand over all exculpatory information in a case to the defense lawyers.
The change would essentially inscribe the Supreme Court’s holding from Brady v. Maryland into the federal rulebook. According to his letter, the Judicial Conference considered a similar change in 2006, but met resistance from the Justice Department.
Brady issues, of course, turned out to be the undoing of the Stevens prosecution.
“An amendment to rule 16 that requires the government to produce all exculpatory information to the defense serves the best interests of the court, the prosecution, and, ultimately, the public,” Sullivan wrote. “Such a rule would eliminate the need for the court to enter discovery orders that simply restate the law in this area, reduce discovery disputes, and help ensure the integrity and fairness of criminal proceedings.”