State News

The Latest: NC panel approves post-conviction evidence rule

Posted September 13

— The Latest on a panel of the N.C. State Bar panel's consideration of a rule regarding post-conviction evidence of innocence (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A North Carolina State Bar panel has approved a rule requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence of innocence obtained after a conviction.

The ethics subcommittee approved the rule Tuesday during a meeting in Raleigh. It now goes to the full ethics committee, which meets in October. The proposal is then be sent to attorneys for comment if the committee approves it.

The panel also discussed a rule for defense attorneys who learn of post-conviction evidence of innocence.

Existing rules and law already address evidence obtained before and during a trial. The American Bar Association says just 14 states have a rule about prosecutors and post-conviction evidence of innocence.

The ABA recommends that the states approve such a rule.

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6:40 a.m.

A North Carolina State Bar panel is scheduled to discuss again a proposal to require prosecutors to disclose evidence of innocence obtained after a conviction.

The State Bar's ethics committee is expected to vote Tuesday on the full draft proposal after reaching general agreement on language in July.

Existing rules and law already address evidence obtained before and during a trial. The American Bar Association says just 14 states have a rule about prosecutors and post-conviction evidence of innocence.

The ABA recommends that the states approve such a rule.

The five-member subcommittee also has agreed in principle that any attorney who discovers post-conviction evidence of innocence must turn over that evidence as long as it doesn't breach attorney-client privilege or substantially harm the client's interest.

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This story has been corrected to show the meeting was held Tuesday, not Monday.

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