JUSTICE STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court.
As a sanction for failing to identify a defense witness in response to a pretrial discovery request, an Illinois trial
A jury convicted petitioner in 1984 of attempting to murder Jack Bridges in a street fight on the south side of Chicago on August 6, 1981. The conviction was supported by the testimony of Bridges, his brother, and three other witnesses. They described a 20-minute argument between Bridges and a young man named Derrick Travis, and a violent encounter that occurred over an hour later between several friends of Travis, including petitioner, on the one hand, and Bridges, belatedly aided by his brother, on the other. The incident was witnessed by 20 or 30 bystanders. It is undisputed that at least three members of the group which included Travis and petitioner were carrying pipes and clubs that they used to beat Bridges. Prosecution witnesses also testified that petitioner had a gun, that he shot Bridges in the back as he attempted to flee, and that, after Bridges fell, petitioner pointed the gun at Bridges' head but the weapon misfired.
Two sisters, who are friends of petitioner, testified on his behalf. In many respects their version of the incident was consistent with the prosecution's case, but they testified that it was Bridges' brother, rather than petitioner, who possessed a firearm and that he had fired into the group hitting
Well in advance of trial, the prosecutor filed a discovery motion requesting a list of defense witnesses.
On the second day of trial, after the prosecution's two principal witnesses had completed their testimony, defense counsel made an oral motion to amend his "Answer to Discovery" to include two more witnesses, Alfred Wormley and Pam Berkhalter. In support of the motion, counsel represented that he had just been informed about them and that they had probably seen the "entire incident."
The next morning Wormley appeared in court with defense counsel.
After hearing Wormley testify, the trial judge concluded that the appropriate sanction for the discovery violation was to exclude his testimony. The judge explained:
In this Court petitioner makes two arguments. He first contends that the Sixth Amendment bars a court from ever ordering the preclusion of defense evidence as a sanction for violating a discovery rule. Alternatively, he contends that even if the right to present witnesses is not absolute, on the facts of this case the preclusion of Wormley's testimony was constitutional error. Before addressing these contentions, we consider the State's argument that the Compulsory Process Clause of the Sixth Amendment is merely a guarantee that the accused shall have the power to subpoena witnesses and simply does not apply to rulings on the admissibility of evidence.
In the State's view, no Compulsory Process Clause concerns are even raised by authorizing preclusion as a discovery sanction, or by the application of the Illinois rule in this case. The State's argument is supported by the plain language of the Clause, see n. 1, supra, by the historical evidence that it was intended to provide defendants with subpoena power that they lacked at common law,
As we noted just last Term, "[o]ur cases establish, at a minimum, that criminal defendants have the right to the government's assistance in compelling the attendance of favorable witnesses at trial and the right to put before a jury evidence that might influence the determination of guilt." Pennsylvania v. Ritchie, 480 U.S. 39, 56 (1987). Few rights are more fundamental than that of an accused to present witnesses in his own defense, see, e. g., Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284, 302 (1973). Indeed, this right is an essential attribute of the adversary system itself.
The right to compel a witness' presence in the courtroom could not protect the integrity of the adversary process if it did not embrace the right to have the witness' testimony heard by the trier of fact. The right to offer testimony is thus grounded in the Sixth Amendment even though it is not expressly described in so many words:
The right of the defendant to present evidence "stands on no lesser footing than the other Sixth Amendment rights that we have previously held applicable to the States." Id., at 18. We cannot accept the State's argument that this constitutional right may never be offended by the imposition of a discovery sanction that entirely excludes the testimony of a material defense witness.
Petitioner's claim that the Sixth Amendment creates an absolute bar to the preclusion of the testimony of a surprise witness is just as extreme and just as unacceptable as the State's position that the Amendment is simply irrelevant. The accused does not have an unfettered right to offer testimony that is incompetent, privileged, or otherwise inadmissible under standard rules of evidence. The Compulsory Process Clause provides him with an effective weapon, but it is a weapon that cannot be used irresponsibly.
There is a significant difference between the Compulsory Process Clause weapon and other rights that are protected by the Sixth Amendment — its availability is dependent entirely on the defendant's initiative. Most other Sixth Amendment rights arise automatically on the initiation of the adversary process and no action by the defendant is necessary to make them active in his or her case.
The principle that undergirds the defendant's right to present exculpatory evidence is also the source of essential limitations on the right. The adversary process could not
The defendant's right to compulsory process is itself designed to vindicate the principle that the "ends of criminal justice would be defeated if judgments were to be founded on a partial or speculative presentation of the facts." United States v. Nixon, 418 U. S., at 709. Rules that provide for pretrial discovery of an opponent's witnesses serve the same high purpose.
To vindicate that interest we have held that even the defendant may not testify without being subjected to cross-examination. Brown v. United States, 356 U.S. 148, 156 (1958). Moreover, in United States v. Nobles, 422 U.S. 225 (1975), we upheld an order excluding the testimony of an expert witness tendered by the defendant because he had refused to permit discovery of a "highly relevant" report. Writing for the Court, Justice Powell explained:
Petitioner does not question the legitimacy of a rule requiring pretrial disclosure of defense witnesses, but he argues that the sanction of preclusion of the testimony of a previously undisclosed witness is so drastic that it should never be imposed. He argues, correctly, that a less drastic sanction is always available. Prejudice to the prosecution could be minimized by granting a continuance or a mistrial to provide time for further investigation; moreover, further violations can be deterred by disciplinary sanctions against the defendant or defense counsel.
It may well be true that alternative sanctions are adequate and appropriate in most cases, but it is equally clear that they would be less effective than the preclusion sanction and that there are instances in which they would perpetuate rather than limit the prejudice to the State and the harm to the adversary process. One of the purposes of the discovery rule itself is to minimize the risk that fabricated testimony will be believed. Defendants who are willing to fabricate a defense may also be willing to fabricate excuses for failing to comply with a discovery requirement. The risk of a contempt violation
We presume that evidence that is not discovered until after the trial is over would not have affected the outcome.
In order to reject petitioner's argument that preclusion is never a permissible sanction for a discovery violation it is neither necessary nor appropriate for us to attempt to draft a comprehensive set of standards to guide the exercise of discretion in every possible case. It is elementary, of course, that a trial court may not ignore the fundamental character of the defendant's right to offer the testimony of witnesses in his favor. But the mere invocation of that right cannot automatically and invariably outweigh countervailing public interests. The integrity of the adversary process, which depends both on the presentation of reliable evidence and the
A trial judge may certainly insist on an explanation for a party's failure to comply with a request to identify his or her witnesses in advance of trial. If that explanation reveals that the omission was willful and motivated by a desire to obtain a tactical advantage that would minimize the effectiveness of cross-examination and the ability to adduce rebuttal evidence, it would be entirely consistent with the purposes of the Compulsory Process Clause simply to exclude the witness' testimony.
The simplicity of compliance with the discovery rule is also relevant. As we have noted, the Compulsory Process Clause cannot be invoked without the prior planning and affirmative conduct of the defendant. Lawyers are accustomed to meeting deadlines. Routine preparation involves location and interrogation of potential witnesses and the serving of subpoenas
It would demean the high purpose of the Compulsory Process Clause to construe it as encompassing an absolute right to an automatic continuance or mistrial to allow presumptively perjured testimony to be presented to a jury. We reject petitioner's argument that a preclusion sanction is never appropriate no matter how serious the defendant's discovery violation may be.
Petitioner argues that the preclusion sanction was unnecessarily harsh in this case because the voir dire examination of Wormley adequately protected the prosecution from any possible prejudice resulting from surprise. Petitioner also contends that it is unfair to visit the sins of the lawyer upon his client. Neither argument has merit.
More is at stake than possible prejudice to the prosecution. We are also concerned with the impact of this kind of conduct on the integrity of the judicial process itself. The trial judge found that the discovery violation in this case was both willful and blatant.
The argument that the client should not be held responsible for his lawyer's misconduct strikes at the heart of the attorney-client relationship. Although there are basic rights
The judgment of the Illinois Appellate Court is Affirmed.
Criminal discovery is not a game. It is integral to the quest for truth and the fair adjudication of guilt or innocence. Violations of discovery rules thus cannot go uncorrected or undeterred without undermining the truthseeking process. The question in this case, however, is not whether discovery rules should be enforced but whether the need to correct and deter discovery violations requires a sanction that itself distorts the truthseeking process by excluding material evidence of innocence in a criminal case. I conclude that, at least where a criminal defendant is not personally responsible for the discovery violation, alternative sanctions are not only adequate to correct and deter discovery violations but are far superior to the arbitrary and disproportionate penalty imposed by the preclusion sanction. Because of this, and because the Court's balancing test creates a conflict of interest in every case involving a discovery violation, I would hold that, absent evidence of the defendant's personal involvement in a discovery violation, the Compulsory Process Clause per se bars discovery sanctions that exclude criminal defense evidence.
Before addressing the merits, I pause to explicate what I take as implicit in the Court's conclusion that the defendant's constitutional claims were "sufficiently well presented to the state courts to support our jurisdiction." Ante, at 407, n. 9. I quite agree with the Court that the constitutional claims were not waived in the Appellate Court of Illinois, both because the defendant's appellate brief adequately presented the Sixth Amendment claim, see ibid., and because the analysis in this case would essentially be the same under the Due Process Clause, see ante, at 406-407, n. 9. The Court does not, however, explain its conclusion that the constitutional claims were not waived at trial. I conclude that, although as a matter of Illinois law the defendant waived his federal constitutional
The only legal challenge to the witness preclusion that the defendant raised at trial was one sentence in his motion for new trial stating: "The Court erred by not letting a witness for defendant testify before the Jury." Record 412. The Appellate Court of Illinois stated that the only witness preclusion issue before it on appeal was whether "the trial court abused its discretion by excluding the testimony of a defense witness as a sanction for violation of the discovery rules." 141 Ill.App.3d 839, 841, 491 N.E.2d 3, 4-5 (1986). The Appellate Court never addressed either the compulsory process or due process claims concerning witness preclusion, id., at 844-845, 491 N. E. 2d, at 6-7, even though the briefs implicitly presented the former claim and expressly asserted the latter. This alone may not warrant the assumption that the Appellate Court implicitly held that a motion for new trial stating that "the court erred" preserved only an abuse of discretion claim and waived any constitutional claims. But the Appellate Court of Illinois had already reached that holding in an identical case. See People v. Douthit, 51 Ill.App.3d 751, 366 N.E.2d 950 (1977). The court in Douthit stated:
Although different districts of the Appellate Court of Illinois decided Douthit and this case, given that at trial both defendants presented identical challenges to the identical provision in the identical fashion, both appellate briefs raised the identical constitutional and nonconstitutional claims, and both districts considered only the abuse of discretion claim, I am constrained to conclude that in this case, like in Douthit, the Appellate Court of Illinois deemed the constitutional claims waived as a matter of Illinois law.
The conclusion that the Appellate Court of Illinois deemed the federal constitutional claims waived as a matter of state law does not, of course, mean that they are waived as a matter of federal law. "[W]e have consistently held that the question of when and how defaults in compliance with state procedural rules can preclude our consideration of a federal question is itself a federal question." Henry v. Mississippi, 379 U.S. 443, 447 (1965). Specifically, it is well established that where a state court possesses the power to disregard a procedural default in exceptional cases, the state court's failure to exercise that power in a particular case does not bar review in this Court. Williams v. Georgia, 349 U.S. 375, 383-384 (1955); see also Sullivan v. Little Hunting Park, Inc., 396 U.S. 229, 233-234 (1969); Henry, supra, at 449, n. 5. The Illinois Supreme and Appellate Courts possess such a power. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 615(a) provides: "Plain errors or defects affecting substantial rights may be noticed [on appeal] even though they were not brought to the
On the merits, I start from the same premise as the Court — that the Compulsory Process Clause of the Sixth Amendment embodies a substantive right to present criminal defense evidence before a jury. See ante, at 408-409; see also, e. g., Pennsylvania v. Ritchie, 480 U.S. 39, 56 (1987). Although I thus join the Court in rejecting the State's argument that the Clause embodies only the right to subpoena witnesses, I cannot agree with the Court's assertion that "[t]he State's argument is supported by the plain language of the Clause." Ante, at 407. The Compulsory Process Clause provides that "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor." This plain language supports the State's argument only if one assumes that the most natural reading of constitutional language is the least meaningful. For the right to subpoena defense witnesses would be a hollow protection indeed if the government could simply refuse to allow subpoenaed defense witnesses to testify. As this Court has recognized for the last 20 years, the right to subpoena witnesses must mean the right to subpoena them for a useful
The substantive limitation on excluding criminal defense evidence secured by the plain terms of the Compulsory Process Clause is also grounded in the general constitutional guarantee of due process. See Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284, 298-302 (1973); see also Rock v. Arkansas, 483 U.S. 44, 51 (1987); Crane v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 683, 690-691 (1986).
The Compulsory Process and Due Process Clauses thus require courts to conduct a searching substantive inquiry whenever the government seeks to exclude criminal defense evidence. After all, "[f]ew rights are more fundamental than that of an accused to present witnesses in his own defense." Chambers, supra, at 302. The exclusion of criminal defense evidence undermines the central truthseeking aim of our criminal justice system, see United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 709 (1974), because it deliberately distorts the record at the risk of misleading the jury into convicting an innocent person. Surely the paramount value our criminal justice system places on acquitting the innocent, see, e. g., In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970), demands close scrutiny of any law preventing the jury from hearing evidence favorable
Accordingly, this Court has conducted searching substantive inquiries into the rationales underlying every challenged exclusion of criminal defense evidence that has come before it to date. That scrutiny has led the Court to strike as constitutionally unjustifiable "rules that prevent whole categories of defense witnesses from testifying on the basis of a priori categories that presume them unworthy of belief," such as a rule against introducing the testimony of an alleged accomplice, Washington v. Texas, supra, at 22-23; an application of the hearsay rule to statements that "were originally made and subsequently offered at trial under circumstances that provided considerable assurance of their reliability," Chambers, supra, at 300; the exclusion of evidence bearing on the credibility of a voluntary confession, Crane, supra, at 688-691; and a per se rule excluding all posthypnosis testimony, Rock, supra, at 56-62. Based on a thorough review of the relevant case law, this Court defined the standard governing the constitutional inquiry just last Term in Rock v. Arkansas, concluding that restrictions on the right to present criminal defense evidence can be constitutional only if they " `accommodate other legitimate interests in the criminal trial process' " and are not "arbitrary or disproportionate to the purposes they are designed to serve." Rock v. Arkansas, supra, at 55-56, quoting Chambers, supra, at 295.
The question at the heart of this case, then, is whether precluding a criminal defense witness from testifying bears an arbitrary and disproportionate relation to the purposes of discovery, at least absent any evidence that the defendant was personally responsible for the discovery violations. This question is not answered by merely pointing out that discovery, like compulsory process, serves truthseeking interests. Compare ante, at 411-412. I would be the last to deny the utility of discovery in the truthseeking process. See Brennan, The Criminal Prosecution: Sporting Event or Quest for Truth?, 1963 Wash. U. L. Q. 279. By aiding effective trial preparation, discovery helps develop a full account of the relevant facts, helps detect and expose attempts to falsify evidence, and prevents factors such as surprise from influencing the outcome at the expense of the merits of the case. But these objectives are accomplished by compliance with the discovery rules, not by the exclusion of material evidence. Discovery sanctions serve the objectives of discovery by correcting for the adverse effects of discovery violations and deterring future discovery violations from occurring. If sanctions other than excluding evidence can sufficiently correct and deter discovery violations,
The use of the preclusion sanction as a corrective measure — that is, as a measure for addressing the adverse impact a discovery violation might have on truthseeking in the case at hand — is asserted to have two justifications: (1) it bars the defendant from introducing testimony that has not been tested by discovery, see ante, at 411-413; and (2) it screens out witnesses who are inherently suspect because they were not disclosed until trial, see ante, at 413-416. The first justification has no bearing on this case because the defendant does not insist on a right to introduce a witness' testimony without giving the prosecution an opportunity for discovery. He concedes that the trial court was within its authority in requiring the witness to testify first out of the presence of the jury, and he concedes that the trial court could have granted the prosecution a continuance to give it sufficient time to conduct further discovery concerning the witness and the proffered testimony. See Brief for Petitioner 18-19. He argues only that he should not be completely precluded from introducing the testimony.
Nobles and Brown v. United States, 356 U.S. 148, 156 (1958) are thus inapposite. Compare ante, at 412-413. In Nobles the defendant sought to impeach the credibility of prosecution witnesses with testimony from a defense investigator regarding statements those witnesses had made in interviews with the investigator. 422 U. S., at 227-229. The trial court ruled that the investigator could not testify unless the defense disclosed the report the investigator had written summarizing the interviews. Ibid. This Court properly rejected the defendant's claim that his right to compulsory process had been violated because:
Here, by contrast, the trial court did bar the proffered defense testimony. It did not, as in Nobles, simply condition the right to introduce the testimony on the defendant's disclosure of evidence that might demonstrate weaknesses in the testimony. The authority of trial courts to prevent the presentation of a "half-truth" by ordering further discovery is thus not at issue here. For similar reasons, the holding in Brown (that a person who testifies at her own denaturalization proceeding waives her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions on cross-examination) can have no bearing on this case.
Nor, despite the Court's suggestions, see ante, at 414-417, is the preclusion at issue here justifiable on the theory that a trial court can exclude testimony that it presumes or finds suspect. In the first place, the trial court did not purport to rely on any such presumption or finding in this case. Rather, after ruling that he would exclude the testimony because of the discovery violation, the judge stated:
The judge gave no indication that he was willing to exclude the testimony based solely on its presumptive or apparent lack of credibility. Nor, apparently, would Illinois law allow him to do so. See generally, e. g., People v. Van Dyke, 414 Ill. 251, 254, 111 N.E.2d 165, 167 ("The credibility of the witnesses presented, as well as the weight of the evidence, [is] for the jury to determine and the court will not substitute its judgment therefor"), cert. denied, 345 U.S. 978 (1953); Village of DesPlaines v. Winkelman, 270 Ill. 149, 159, 110 N. E. 417, 422 (1915) ("[I]t is . . . for the jury to determine. . . to which witnesses they will give the greatest weight, and not for the court to tell them"). Indeed, far from being able to prevent the jury from hearing the testimony of witnesses that the trial court deems untrustworthy, Illinois trial courts are not even permitted to comment on the credibility of witnesses to the jury.
In addition, preventing a jury from hearing the proffered testimony based on its presumptive or apparent lack of credibility would be antithetical to the principles laid down in Washington v. Texas, 388 U. S., at 20-23, and reaffirmed in Rock v. Arkansas, 483 U. S., at 53-55. We there criticized rules that disqualified witnesses who had an interest in the
See also Rock v. Arkansas, supra, at 53-55 (quoting and restating the above). The Court in Washington v. Texas accordingly concluded that "arbitrary rules that prevent whole categories of defense witnesses from testifying on the basis of a priori categories that presume them unworthy of belief" are unconstitutional. 388 U. S., at 22.
Although persons who are not identified as defense witnesses until trial may not be as trustworthy as other categories of persons, surely any presumption that they are so suspect that the jury can be prevented from even listening to their testimony is at least as arbitrary as presumptions excluding an accomplice's testimony, Washington v. Texas, supra, hearsay statements bearing indicia of reliability, Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284 (1973), or a defendant's posthypnosis testimony, Rock, supra — all of which have been declared unconstitutional. Compare ante, at 414-417.
Leaving deterrence aside for the moment, then, precluding witness testimony is clearly arbitrary and disproportionate to the purpose discovery is intended to serve — advancing the quest for truth. Alternative sanctions — namely, granting the prosecution a continuance and allowing the prosecutor to comment on the witness concealment — can correct for any adverse impact the discovery violation would have on the truthseeking process. Moreover, the alternative sanctions, unlike the preclusion sanction, do not distort the truthseeking process by excluding material evidence of innocence.
Of course, discovery sanctions must include more than corrective measures. They must also include punitive measures that can deter future discovery violations from taking place. Otherwise, parties will have little reason not to seek
In light of the availability of direct punitive measures, however, there is no good reason, at least absent evidence of the defendant's complicity, to countenance the arbitrary and disproportionate punishment imposed by the preclusion sanction. The central point to keep in mind is that witness preclusion operates as an effective deterrent only to the extent that it has a possible effect on the outcome of the trial. Indeed, it employs in part the possibility that a distorted record will cause a jury to convict a defendant of a crime he did not commit. Witness preclusion thus punishes discovery violations in a way that is both disproportionate — it might result in a defendant charged with a capital offense being convicted and receiving a death sentence he would not have received but for the discovery violation — and arbitrary — it might, in another case involving an identical discovery violation, result in a defendant suffering no change in verdict or, if charged with a lesser offense, being convicted and receiving a light or suspended sentence. In contrast, direct punitive measures (such as contempt sanctions or, if the attorney is responsible, disciplinary proceedings) can gradate the punishment to correspond to the severity of the discovery violation.
The arbitrary and disproportionate nature of the preclusion sanction is highlighted where the penalty falls on the defendant even though he bore no responsibility for the discovery violation. In this case, although there was ample evidence that the defense attorney willfully violated Rule
Worse yet, the trial court made clear that it was excluding Wormley's testimony not only in response to the defense counsel's actions in this case but also in response to the actions of other defense attorneys in other cases. The trial court stated:
Although the Court recognizes this problem, it offers no response other than the cryptic statement that "[u]nrelated discovery violations . . . would not . . . normally provide a proper basis for curtailing the defendant's constitutional right to present a complete defense." Ante, at 416, n. 22. We are left to wonder either why this case is abnormal or why an exclusion founded on an improper basis should be upheld.
The situation might be different if the defendant willfully caused the discovery violation because, as the Court points out, see ante, at 413-414, some defendants who face the prospect of a lengthy imprisonment are arguably impossible to deter with direct punitive sanctions such as contempt. But that is no explanation for allowing defense witness preclusion where there is no evidence that the defendant bore any responsibility for the discovery violation. At a minimum, we would be obligated to remand for further factfinding to establish the defendant's responsibility. Deities may be able to visit the sins of the father on the son, but I cannot agree that courts should be permitted to visit the sins of the lawyer on the innocent client.
The rationales for binding defendants to attorneys' routine tactical errors do not apply to attorney misconduct. An attorney is never faced with a legitimate choice that includes misconduct as an option. Although it may be that "[t]he adversary process could not function effectively if every tactical decision required client approval," ante, at 418, that concern is irrelevant here because a client has no authority to approve misconduct. Further, misconduct is not visible only with hindsight, as are many tactical errors. Consequently, misconduct is amenable to direct punitive sanctions against attorneys as a deterrent that can prevent attorneys from systemically engaging in misconduct that would disrupt the trial process. There is no need to take steps that will inflict the punishment on the defendant. Direct punitive sanctions are also more appropriate since the determination that misconduct occurred (and the level of penalty imposed) primarily turns on an assessment of the attorney's culpability rather than, as with procedural defaults, an assessment of the potential for disrupting the trial system. In this case there is no doubt that willfully concealing the identity of witnesses one intends to call at trial is attorney misconduct, that the government seeks to deter such behavior in all instances, and that the attorney knows such behavior is misconduct and not a legitimate tactical decision at the time it occurs. Direct punitive sanctions against the attorney are available. See Rule 415(g)(ii). And the decision to impose the evidentiary exclusion penalty in this case clearly turned on an assessment of the attorney's culpability. See App. 25-28; People v. Rayford, 43 Ill.App.3d 283, 286, 356 N.E.2d 1274, 1277
In short, I can think of no scenario that does not involve a defendant's willful violation of a discovery rule where alternative sanctions would not fully vindicate the purposes of discovery without distorting the truthseeking process by excluding evidence of innocence. Courts can couple corrective measures that will subject the testimony at issue to discovery and adverse credibility inferences with direct punitive measures that are both proportional to the discovery violation and directed at the actor responsible for it. Accordingly, absent evidence that the defendant was responsible for the discovery violation, the exclusion of criminal defense evidence is arbitrary and disproportionate to the purposes of discovery and criminal justice and should be per se unconstitutional. I thus cannot agree with the Court's case-by-case balancing approach or with its conclusion in this case that the exclusion was constitutional.
The Court's balancing approach, moreover, has the unfortunate effect of creating a conflict of interest in every case involving a willful discovery violation because the defense counsel is placed in a position where the best argument he can make on behalf of his client is: "Don't preclude the defense witness — punish me personally." In this very case, for example, the defense attorney became noticeably timid once the judge threatened to report his actions to the disciplinary
It seems particularly ironic that the Court should approve the exclusion of evidence in this case at a time when several of its Members have expressed serious misgivings about the evidentiary costs of exclusionary rules in other contexts. Surely the deterrence of constitutional violations cannot be less important than the deterrence of discovery violations. Nor can it be said that the evidentiary costs are more significant when they are imposed on the prosecution. For that would turn on its head what Justice Harlan termed the "fundamental value determination of our society that it is far worse to convict an innocent man than to let a guilty man go free." In re Winship, 397 U. S., at 372 (concurring opinion).
Discovery rules are important, but only as a means for helping the criminal system convict the guilty and acquit the innocent. Precluding defense witness testimony as a sanction for a defense counsel's willful discovery violation not only directly subverts criminal justice by basing convictions on a partial presentation of the facts, United States v. Nixon, 418 U. S., at 709, but is also arbitrary and disproportionate to any of the purposes served by discovery rules or discovery sanctions. The Court today thus sacrifices the paramount values of the criminal system in a misguided and unnecessary effort to preserve the sanctity of discovery. We may never
JUSTICE BLACKMUN, dissenting.
I join JUSTICE BRENNAN'S dissenting opinion on the understanding — at least on my part — that it is confined in its reach to general reciprocal-discovery rules. I do not wish to have the opinion express for me any position as to permissible sanctions for noncompliance with rules designed for specific kinds of evidence as, for example, a notice-of-alibi rule. In a case such as that, the State's legitimate interests might well occasion a result different from what should obtain in the factual context of the present case.
"Subject to constitutional limitations and within a reasonable time after the filing of a written motion by the State, defense counsel shall inform the State of any defenses which he intends to make at a hearing or trial and shall furnish the State with the following material and information within his possession or control:
"(i) the names and last known addresses of persons he intends to call as witnesses together with their relevant written or recorded statements, including memoranda reporting or summarizing their oral statements, any record of prior criminal convictions known to him . . ." (emphasis added).
"THE COURT: Who are they?
"MR. VAN: One is a guy named Alfred Wrdely of which —
"THE DEFENDANT: Excuse me, W-r-d-e-l-y.
"MR. VAN: Whose address I do not have. I'm going to have to see if I can locate him tonight. And Pam Berkhalter." App. 12.
"MR. VAN: That is correct, Judge. He, in fact, told me about Alfred sometime ago. The problem was that he could not locate Alfred." Id., at 12-13.
"When you bring up these witnesses at the very last moment, there's always the allegation and the thought process that witnesses are being found that really weren't there. And it's a problem in these types of cases, and it should be — should have been put on that sheet a long time ago.
"At any rate, I'll worry about it tomorrow." Id., at 13-14.
"A. Well, Jack had a blanket. It was two pistols in there and he gave it to —
"Q. And then what, if anything, did they say at that time, if you can recall?
"A. Well, they were saying what they were going to do to the people. Say they were after Ray and the other people.
"Q. What, if anything, did you do at that time?
"A. At that time I left. I was on my way home and I happened to run into Ray and them and so I told them what was happening and to watch out because they got weapons." Id., at 19.
A generic reference to the Fourteenth Amendment is not sufficient to preserve a constitutional claim based on an unidentified provision of the Bill of Rights, but in this case the authority cited by petitioner and the manner in which the fundamental right at issue has been described and understood by the Illinois courts make it appropriate to conclude that the constitutional question was sufficiently well presented to the state courts to support our jurisdiction.
"Mr. HARTLEY said, that in securing him the right of compulsory process, the Government did all it could; the remainder must lie in the discretion of the court.
"Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, thought the regulation would come properly in, as part of the Judicial system.
"The question on MR. BURKE's motion was taken and lost; ayes 9, noes 41." 1 Annals of Cong. 756 (1789).
"Some of the state provisions originated in English statutes, some in colonial enactments, and some were original. Regardless, they all reflected the principle that the defendant must have a meaningful opportunity, at least as advantageous as that possessed by the prosecution, to establish the essential elements of his case. The states pressed the principle so vigorously that the framers of the federal Bill of Rights included it in the sixth amendment in a distinctive formulation of their own." Westen, The Compulsory Process Clause, 73 Mich. L. Rev. 71, 94-95 (1974) (footnotes omitted).
"The defendant's rights to be informed of the charges against him, to receive a speedy and public trial, to be tried by a jury, to be assisted by counsel, and to be confronted with adverse witnesses are designed to restrain the prosecution by regulating the procedures by which it presents its case against the accused. They apply in every case, whether or not the defendant seeks to rebut the case against him or to present a case of his own. Compulsory process, on the other hand, comes into play at the close of the prosecution's case. It operates exclusively at the defendant's initiative and provides him with affirmative aid in presenting his defense." Id., at 74.
"The exclusion of evidence is a drastic measure; and the rule in civil cases limits its application to flagrant violations, where the uncooperative party demonstrates a `deliberate contumacious or unwarranted disregard of the court's authority.' (Schwartz v. Moats, 3 Ill.App.3d 596, 599, 277 N.E.2d 529, 531; Department of Transportation v. Mainline Center, Inc., 38 Ill.App.3d 538, 347 N.E.2d 837.) The reasons for restricting the use of the exclusion sanction to only the most extreme situations are even more compelling in the case of criminal defendants, where due process requires that a defendant be permitted to offer testimony of witnesses in his defense. (Washington v. Texas, 388 U.S. 14 . . . .) `Few rights are more fundamental than that of an accused to present witnesses in his own defense.' (Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284, 302 . . . .)" 43 Ill. App. 3d, at 286-287, 356 N. E. 2d, at 1277.
"(i) If . . . a party has failed to comply with an applicable discovery rule. . . the court may order such party to permit the discovery of material and information not previously disclosed, grant a continuance, exclude such evidence, or enter such other order as it deems just under the circumstances.
"(ii) Wilful violation by counsel of an applicable discovery rule . . . may subject counsel to appropriate sanctions by the court."