Dallas Criminal Lawyer: Update on Discovery Bill

I reported earlier how the Texas Legislature is considering SB 1611 from Sen. Rodney Ellis that would provide for reciprocal discovery in criminal cases. That was then. Now the bill is less reciprocal, meaning it would require less disclosure from the defense. Whereas before it required the defense to disclose:

  • written or recorded witness statements
  • physical or documentary evidence
  • names, addresses, and reports by or for expert witnesses
  • witness list
  • notice if defense intends to raise an affirmative defense
  • location of alibi and alibi witnesses

At the hearing before the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Tuesday of this week, Rep. Moody laid out a version of the discovery bill that wouldn’t require the defense to make any disclosures. Shannon Edwards of TDCAA (the prosecutors’ association), in a comment on the Grits coverage of this saga confirmed that the prosecutors’ association was behind this change. Hard to imagine, but I guess we’ll see.