A federal appeals court said it is concerned by what appears to be a pattern of federal prosecutors in eastern North Carolina failing to fully turn over evidence that defendants should be aware of in advance of a trial, reports the Associated Press. The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Va., is presenting its concerns to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department’s internal investigators.
The court said it found three cases in the past two years in which government prosecutors in the Raleigh-based region abused their duty to turn over evidence. “What we know is that we are repeatedly confronted with charges of discovery abuse by this office,” Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote for the panel. “What we know is that our questions regarding this abuse remain unanswered. And what we know is that such conduct is unacceptable…Whatever it takes, this behavior must stop.”