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S. 2197 (112th): Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act of 2012

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 15, 2012.

Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act of 2012 - Amends the federal criminal code to require the attorney for the government, in a criminal prosecution, to provide to the defendant any information or evidence that may reasonably appear to be favorable to the defendant regarding the determination of guilt, any preliminary matter before the cour, or the sentence to be imposed (covered information): (1) that is within the possession, custody, or control of the prosecution team; or (2) the existence of which is known, or through due diligence would become known, to that attorney.

Directs the government attorney to provide to the defendant any covered information: (1) without delay after arraignment and before the entry of any guilty plea; and (2) as soon as is reasonably practicable upon its becoming known, without regard to whether the defendant has entered or agreed to enter a guilty plea.

Authorizes the court, upon motion of the United States which the court may permit to be filed under seal to protect a witness's identity, to issue an order to protect against immediate disclosure if: (1) the covered information is favorable to the defendant solely because it would provide a basis to impeach the credibility of a potential witness, and (2) the United States establishes a reasonable basis to believe that the identity of the potential witness is not already known to any defendant and disclosure would present a threat to anyone's safety.

Permits the court, under specified circumstances, to accept a waiver of this Act by a defendant. Prohibits a defendant from waiving a provision of this Act except in open court.

Requires the court to order an appropriate remedy upon determining that the United States has violated the requirement to disclose or to disclose in a timely manner and provides for payment of the defendant's costs.