Monday, December 3, 2012

Circuit Splits on Defense Witness Immunity (12/3/12)

I have previously written on the issue of a defense request to immunize a witness who invokes his Fifth Amendment privilege, thereby refusing to give testimony potentially helpful  to the defense.  The prosecution can grant immunity when it needs the testimony.  The defense can't.  The  courts will not intervene to give some form of relief except in rare circumstances.  I have previously blogged on various aspects of that issue, and list those blogs at the end of this blog.

I write today to provide some update links for information on this subject.  The Circuit Split Blog  has this discussion of  and link to a law review note.  See New Article Highlights Immunity Grants to Defense Witnesses (Circuit Split Blog 11/30/12), here.  The  note is Nathaniel Lipanovich, Resolving the Circuit Split on Defense Immunity: How the Prosecutorial Misconduct Test Has Failed Defendants and What the Supreme Court Should Do About It, 91 Tex. L. Rev. 175 (2012), here.  I recommend review the Circuit Split Blog entry for its inclusion of a graphic graph.

My prior blogs in reverse chronological order are:\

  • Petition for Certiorari on Issue of Whether Defense Witness Invoking Fifth But Offering Testimony After Conviction is Newly Discovered Evidence (11/14/12), here
  • Defense Witness Immunity (10/10/12), here
  • A White Collar Crime Case with Issues Relevant to Tax Crimes (10/10/12), here; and 
  • Defense Witness Immunity: Prosecutor Discretion and Compelling Testimony of a Reluctant Witness in Criminal Cases (9/6/11), here.



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