DA is right to disclose notes on witnesses

District Attorney Sharen Wilson
District Attorney Sharen Wilson Star-Telegram

Sharen Wilson, six months on the job as Tarrant County district attorney, is acting out of an abundance of caution in notifying defense attorneys about binders full of notes the DA’s office kept for 21 years.

Abundance of caution is what you want in criminal cases.

Wilson has gone public with 22 three-inch binders from misdemeanor case prosecutors. They contain more than 6,000 handwritten notes with observations about police officers and others who were witnesses in trials.

She told Star-Telegram reporter Deanna Boyd by email that the documents raise questions about the credibility of 16 officers and three breath alcohol test operators.

If you’re a defendant in one of these cases, doubts about witness credibility would be something you want to know. In fact, a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case requires it.

Wilson did the right thing.