State Violates Discovery Order, Court Reverses Capital Murder Conviction

Deamus v. State, No. 05-15-01182-CR (Tex. App.—Dallas Aug. 22, 2017) (mem. op. not designated for publication).

Facts: Prosecutor failed to turn over witness statement when discovery order required turning over any written or oral statement by any party or witness which might in any manner be material to guilt/innocence or punishment.

Holding: Reverse for new trial without the statement. Prosecutor’s explanation (work product) and the record show the prosecutor “consciously disregarded a plain directive in the discovery order . . . in order to gain a tactical advantage” Even though the conduct here was willful, negligent or reckless could require exclusion IF defendant “suffers some disability by virtue of the lack of discovery and the trial court takes no timely corrective action.”

See also Oprean v. State, 201 S.W.3d 724, 730 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001) (Cochran, J., concurring): Common courtesy, though not a legal requirement, will oft-times ameliorate an otherwise dubious legal position.

Author: txcriminalappeals

Appellate lawyer in Rockwall and Dallas Counties focusing on criminal cases and now accepting civil appeals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s