February 24, 2014

TRANSPARENCY: Criminal Defense Group Sues DOJ Over ‘Discovery Blue Book.’

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers today sued the U.S. Department of Justice over public access to a criminal discovery “blue book” that was written after the collapse of the case against Ted Stevens.

The Justice Department last year turned down a request from the NACDL for a copy of the Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book. The lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Justice Department officials, according to the complaint, cited the book as an example of why federal legislation was unnecessary to prevent future discovery abuses among prosecutors.

During a hearing on Capitol Hill, in 2012, the Justice Department said the blue book was “distributed to prosecutors nationwide in 2011″ and “is now electronically available on the desktop of every federal prosecutor and paralegal,” according to the NACDL complaint.

So it can’t be all that secret. If it actually exists. . . .