RHODE ISLAND CRIMINAL DEFENSE
A Practice Manual, 4th Edition
© John E. MacDonald
Prosecutor’s Duty Under Rule 16
“The language of Rule 16 is very clear. The prosecutor must provide a defendant with specific information when requested. The prosecutor does not have the authority to interpret the rule and decide what constitutes substantial compliance or equivalent compliance. Rule 16(a)(6) requires the attorney for the state to provide a list of witnesses, not what the prosecutor thinks is the functional equivalent of a list…A list of witnesses means just that–the people who will testify at trial. It does not mean everyone the Attorney General’s department or the police interview in investigating the state’s case. Too much information can be as useless as no information at all.”
State v. Verlaque, 465 A.2d 207, 214 (R.I. 1983).
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