The latest DVD-based training tool deals with the discovery and inspection of evidence under the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure and has been distributed to each of Tennessee’s 31 District Attorneys.
“Prosecutors have a duty to disclose information and evidence to a criminal defendant,” said Gen. Weirich. “Whether the evidence is or is not of use to the defense does not change that duty and this is a responsibility we take very seriously. It is vital that we maintain our knowledge on this topic in order to promote fundamental fairness and due process of law in criminal prosecutions."
Created in 2013, the committee identifies best practices and training opportunities for Tennessee’s District Attorneys, Assistant District Attorneys and their staff members to ensure legal and ethical compliance.
“Many dedicated prosecutors from across the state have contributed their time, experience and expertise in this effort,” said Committee Chairman Mike Dunavant, District Attorney General for the 25th Judicial District. “The committee intends to continue to take the lead in improving the criminal justice system and protecting public safety in Tennessee.”
Tennessee is one of the first states in the nation to formalize such a training effort. The TNDAGC’s Justice and Professionalism Committee has received awards for its efforts and has been invited to share its work with other prosecutors from around the country at the Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Maintaining high prosecutorial standards is a priority for Tennessee’s District Attorneys. We will continue working closely with the Tennessee Public Safety Coalition, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and local law enforcement to offer common-sense improvements to the criminal justice system,” said Gen. Weirich.
For more information about the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference, visit www.tndagc.org.