Ohio S.Ct. & State Discovery Violations


In felony prosecution where state unintentionally failed to disclose relevant evidence to defendant, trial court erred in declaring a mistrial since it should have inquired into the circumstances surrounding the violation and imposed the least severe sanction. The case surrounded two defendants (then appellees) who were indicted over two years ago on drug trafficking charges. The defendant-appellees pled not guilty and were then tried by a judge without a jury. The case eventually moved to trial, and the trial court failed to explore "less severe sanctions" that may have been appropriate. Trial courts are required to impose the "least severe sanction that is consistent with the purpose of the rules of discovery." The case stated that the trial court abused their discretion in this instance.