Appeals court says prosecutor manual can stay secret

AP News
Posted: Jul 19, 2016 10:37 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court says the Justice Department does not have to turn over a prosecution training manual to defense attorneys.

The ruling Tuesday covers the so-called Blue Book that instructs prosecutors about their duty to turn over certain documents to defense lawyers. It was created following the government's botched prosecution of the late Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska.

Stevens was found guilty in a 2008 federal corruption case, but the verdict was overturned amid charges of prosecutorial misconduct.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers sought a copy of the guide under the Freedom of Information Act. A federal judge ruled in 2014 that it was exempt from disclosure.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed, saying it contains internal strategies to help prosecutors.