Eric Muller: ‘Astonishing Lapse at the FBI’

Understatement of the week dept:

IsThatLegal?: the FBI's computer system has a drive onto which agents dump their raw reports, and from which supervisors upload and review them, and quite possibly edit them, before saving them as the official reports on a different drive. The “official” reports are made available, as required by law, to defendants, but the raw reports on the so-called “I” drive have never been. Indeed, the very existence of the “I” drive has been hidden until very recently. …

This is an astonishing lapse at the FBI.

Even if (and I find it very hard to believe) the “I” drive versions of the reports in thousands of cases don't turn out to contain undisclosed exculpatory information of which the Fifth Amendment's due process clause would require production as a matter of constitutional right, we can be sure that this computer infrastructure is a flagrant violation of the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. sec. 3500, which requires that the government turn over to defendants all “recorded statements” of witnesses who testify at trial.

More evidence that contempt for civil rights flourishes in a climate created by John Ashcroft & GW Bush. Or does the buck stop nowhere?

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