Bill seeks to improve evidence sharing by prosecutors

March 7, 2020 GMT

Connecticut officials are considering a plan to strengthen the state’s law on how prosecutors share evidence with defendants and their lawyers.

The legislature’s Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Monday at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The bill would require prosecutors to provide defendants with all the evidence they have before the deadline for the defense to accept or reject a plea bargain. It also would set procedures for how police submit evidence to prosecutors.

Expected to testify at Monday’s hearing is Scott Lewis, of New Haven, who spent nearly 20 years in prison for a double murder before being exonerated and freed in 2014.

Lewis was cleared, in part, because officials withheld evidence that the state’s main witness was coerced by police into implicating Lewis when he knew nothing about the murders.

Lewis was awarded $9.5 million for his wrongful imprisonment in a settlement with the city of New Haven in 2017.

Also convicted in the double murder and later freed was Stefon Morant, who served 21 years in prison.