Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nebraska Supreme Court denies defendant's claim of ineffective appellate counsel and opens the door slightly to post-conviction discovery proceedings, but holds further discovery would not have helped the defendant. State v. Jackson, S-06-1041, 275 Neb. 434. the defendant in his post-conviction action sought discovery from the prosecutor regarding any evidence the prosecutor had that would show that a drug dealer ordered another hit man to kill the man that the defendant was convicted of killing. The trial court overruled the defednat's request. The Supreme Court agrees that discovery was not appropriate in this case under State v. Thomas, 236 Neb. 553, 462 N.W.2d 862 (1990)., but suggests it might allow some discovery in the future. "when a postconviction discovery request is for evidence that the defendant would not have known to request until after the trial, the postconviction stage is the prisoner’s first opportunity to make such a request...there should be a limited exception for discovery requests concerning evidence which the prosecution withheld from the defendant at trial when there is a reasonable possibility that the requested evidence, if it exists, could have resulted in a different outcome at trial."

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