Summary: H.R.4736 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/22/1980)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Classified Information Criminal Trial Procedures Act - =Title I: Procedures For Disclosure of Classified Information in Criminal Cases= - Sets forth pretrial, trial, and appellate procedures for criminal cases involving classified information.

Requires a court, on its own motion or on the motion of any party, to hold a pretrial conference to establish a schedule for the discovery of classified information and for implementation of the procedures provided by this title, and to consider other matters which may promote a fair and expeditious trial. Provides that admissions made by the defense at such a conference may only be used against the defendant when reduced to writing and signed by the defendant and defense counsel.

Requires a defendant who reasonably expects to disclose classified material during the trial or any pretrial hearing to notify the Government attorney and the court. Prohibits the defendant from disclosing such information until authorized by the court.

Requires the court to conduct a pretrial, in camera proceeding to determine the admissibility of the classified information which was the subject of the defendant's notice, upon request of the Government and certification by the Attorney General that a public proceeding may result in the disclosure of classified information.

Permits the Attorney General to request an in camera proceeding to determine the use, relevance, or admissibility of classified information which has not been the subject of defendant's notice.

Allows the Government to take an appeal from a decision favorable to the defendant regarding the admissibility of such classified information before such information is disclosed.

Directs the court, upon the request of the Government, to issue an order prohibiting the defendant from disclosing or causing to be disclosed the classified information at issue pending the conclusion of such proceeding.

Requires the Government to provide the defendant with notice of the specific classified information at issue before such proceeding is conducted, but permits the Government to describe by generic category information which has not been previously made available to the defendant, in such form as the court may approve.

Allows the Government to object to any line of inquiry used by a defendant while examining a witness which may require such witness to disclose classified information not previously found admissible under the specified procedures.

Directs the court to take any action necessary to determine whether the response is admissible as will safeguard against the disclosure of any classified information, including proffers from the Government and the defendant.

Allows the Government to move for a court order to substitute for classified information which has been held admissible pursuant to the above procedure: (1) a statement admitting the relevant facts such information would prove; or (2) a summary of the specified classified information. Directs the court to grant such a motion where the statement or summary will provide the defendant with substantially the same ability to make his defense.

Authorizes the Government to make an ex parte written submission to the court explaining the national security sensitivity of the specific information involved.

Requires the sealing and preservation for appeal of any record of an in camera proceeding where the court determines that the classified information at issue may not be disclosed or elicited at the trial or any pretrial hearing.

Directs the court to order the defendant not to disclose such classified information whenever such motion is denied and the Government files an objection to such disclosure.

Directs the court to then dismiss the indictment or information or, when the interests of justice would not be served by such a dismissal, order other action, including: (1) dismissal of specified counts of the indictment or information; (2) finding against the Government on any issue to which the excluded information relates; or (3) striking or precluding all or part of the testimony of a witness.

Allows the court to prohibit defendants failing to comply with the notice requirements from: (1) disclosing such classified information during trial; and (2) examining any witnesses with respect to such information.

Directs the court, after determining that classified information may be disclosed, to order the Government to provide the defendant with: (1) the information it expects to use to rebut the particular classified information; and (2) the identity of any witness it expects to use for rebuttal, upon a determination of the court that such an order is appropriate, considering the nature and extent of the defendant's disclosures, the probability of witness intimidation or bribery, and the probability of identifiable harm to the national security.

Authorizes the court, upon noncompliance of the Government to such an order, to: (1) exclude any evidence not made the subject of a required disclosure; or (2) prohibit the examination by the Government of any witness with respect to such information.

Directs the Government to provide the defendant, at his request, with a bill of particulars as to the portions of the indictment or information which the defendant identified as related to the classified information at issue in the pretrial proceeding.

Stipulates that the reciprocity requirements shall not apply to classified information provided by the Government to the defendant pursuant to a discovery request, unless the court determines that the interests of fairness so require.

Allows the Government to make an interlocutory appeal to a court of appeals from a decision of the district court: (1) requiring disclosure; (2) imposing sanctions for nondisclosure; or (3) refusing a protective order by the United States to prevent disclosure.

Directs the court, upon motion of the Government, to issue a protective order against the disclosure of any classified information disclosed by the Government to any defendant in a criminal case in district court.

Allows the court, upon a finding that the defendant will have substantially the same ability to make his defense, to authorize the Government to: (1) delete specified items of classified information from documents to be made available to the defendant; (2) substitute a summary of the information for such documents; or (3) substitute a statement admitting relevant facts the information would tend to prove.

Permits classified information to be admitted into evidence without change in classification status.

Requires an in camera proceeding for consideration of a defendant's motion to require the Government to introduce other statements which ought to be considered contemporaneously with statements introduced which are relevant to the defendant's case.

Directs the Chief Justice, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Director of Central Intelligence, to prescribe rules establishing procedures for the protection against unauthorized disclosure of any classified information in the custody of the Federal courts. Requires the submission of such rules to the appropriate congressional committees.

Requires the Government, in any prosecution in which it must establish information, to notify the defendant of the material upon which it reasonably expects to rely.

=Title II: Guidelines and Reports= - Directs the Attorney General to: (1) issue guidelines specifying the factors to be used by the Department of Justice in deciding whether to prosecute a violation of Federal law in which there is a possibility that classified information will be disclosed; (2) transmit such guidelines to the appropriate congressional committees; and (3) report annually to the congressional intelligence committees and chairmen and ranking minority members of the Judiciary committees on the operation of this Act.

=Title III: Effective Date= - Makes this Act effective upon enactment.