New Discovery - in the Middle of Trial?
It was in the exact middle of a murder trial when State revealed that it had "new evidence" ... GPS locational data that put the Defendant right at the crime scene. Not only did they fail to disclose this evidence before trial, but it was scientific evidence that required an expert to be introduced. Attorney Kara Hoopis Manosh immediately filed a Motion to Exclude the evidence, citing discovery rules. When excluding important evidence such as this, it is helpful that Attorney Manosh also has experience handling appeals. In addition to a discovery violation, Attorney Manosh argued that the late disclosure of important evidence is violative of the right to a fair trial, the right to due process of law, and the right to effective assistance counsel (because the attorney had no opportunity to prepare for this scientific cross-examination!). Attorney Manosh also cited to a report of the Rhode Island Senate Discovery Task Force, which was specifically created to address this type of late disclosure of inculpatory evidence.
The Judge AGREED that the late discovery was "extremely prejudicial and detrimental to a fair trial," and did not permit the evidence at trial. When a serious constitutional violation occurs at trial, it is crucial to have an experienced attorney ready to fight every battle. Remember, if the Judge had allowed the evidence to come in, the Supreme Court will only review the issue if it was thoroughly argued and preserved. It is necessary to fight for the win (keep the evidence out) AND play for the save (preserve the issue for appeal).