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This article analyzes MRE 505 in both a comparative and Constitutional context. Part I provides a procedural overview of both MIRE 505, and its federal counterpart, CIPA, for protecting evidence vital to national security in the criminal court context. Both mechanisms for protecting sensitive information are analyzed for their efficiency from a prosecutorial perspective. Part II analyzes the defendant's twin Constitutionally-based rights to present a complete defense and to a public trial. MRE 505, impacts to some degree, these twin rights. Part III then reviews the legal framework of MRE 505 within the salient Lonetree case. Within the context of that case, particular attention is focused on two issues: the right of public access and the responsibility to protect classified evidence. Part IV analyzes likely legal areas of future review. While this article concludes the reasonable application of MRE 505 is constitutional, judge advocates and agency attorneys should analyze the possible impact both in the charging process and in the pursuit of justice.

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Air Force Law Review



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