The Ohio Supreme Court recently approved new rules governing pretrial procedures that will help ensure those convicted of crimes are truly guilty, according to Thomas Moyer, chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. The amendment to Rule 16 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure will require greater sharing of evidence between prosecutors and defense attorneys before trial.
One of the major rule changes relates to witness statements, which prosecutors are currently allowed to withhold until trial. Under the new law, witness statements would have to be shared with defense counsel ahead of time, along with other information from police reports. Defense attorneys have complained for the past 35 years that county prosecutors in Ohio have had an unfair advantage because they could withhold certain evidence.
Defense attorneys would be required to hand over witness statements they have obtained. Their criminology expert witnesses would also be required to provide written reports before trial or else they would not be allowed to testify.
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