Hastings Law Journal


The prosecutor's constitutional and ethical duty to reveal material exculpatory evidence to a criminal defendant in a case that is tried is well established. The duty to reveal such information in a case that is resolved by a guilty plea, however, remains unresolved. This Article argues that the duty to disclose should be extended to the guilty plea context to help ensure the accuracy of guilty pleas. It maintains that disclosure would enhance the accuracy of guilty pleas by reinforcing both the knowledge and sincerity underlying the confession of guilt, which provides the cornerstone of the typical guilty plea. The Article urges recognition of a constitutionally mandated rule of disclosure in the guilty plea context, but also examines the possibilities for implementation of disclosure through ethical and statutory rules.

Included in

Law Commons