One unexpected result of Kathleen Kane‘s probe into Tom Corbett‘s handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation is that millions of old emails from the attorney general’s office were discovered — now public records that could prove useful to Pennsylvania defendants appealing their convictions.
Theodore Simon, a criminal defense attorney and president-elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said 20 million emails recovered during Kane’s investigation “will require a careful and comprehensive review for favorable and discoverable evidence for any and all individuals accused by the prosecution” during a recent three-year period. The emails were internal communications between prosecutors.
Speaking for himself and not the association, Simon said “due process requires the defense to have the opportunity to access, review and evaluate this information” from November 2008 to November 2011, the recovery period for the deleted emails.
TribLive adds: “Defendants who are turned down by the Supreme Court can take a final shot in the state courts if they can show that they had “ineffective counsel” or if there is newly discovered evidence.” But prosecutors say they’re not worried. “I see the argument,” said Kane’s first deputy Bruce Beemer, “but I don’t think it will create a pervasive problem over time.”