Carman v. State

In Carman v. State, 658 P.2d 131 (Alaska App. 1983), the Court held that the rule against duplicitous indictments "is a rule of pleading, not substance" -- and that, "upon motion, two crimes improperly joined in a single count can be segregated into separate counts in the same indictment." Id. at 139. In Carman v. State, the defendant was scheduled for a second trial after the supreme court reversed his conviction. Carman filed a discovery request, asking the State to produce various items of physical evidence. Carman had not examined this evidence earlier because he had not requested production of this evidence during his preparation for the first trial. The State responded that these items were no longer available -- that they had been returned or destroyed after Carman's first trial. Carman then asked the superior court to dismiss the indictment because of the State's failure to preserve this evidence. The superior court rejected Carman's request, and this court upheld the superior court's decision. The Court said: Carman did not request the material prior to the first trial and therefore waived any rights he might have had under the discovery rules. Cf. Alaska Criminal Rule 12(b), (e). The supreme court's reversal of the judgment of conviction after Carman's first trial did not revive discovery rights that had already lapsed; consequently, there was no duty to preserve the evidence in question unless it was so clearly exculpatory that the prosecutor was obligated to preserve it absent a request. See Alaska Criminal Rule 16(b)(3); see also Wyrick v. State, 590 P.2d 46 (Alaska 1979); White v. State, 577 P.2d 1056 (Alaska 1978). ... Carman's failure to seek discovery of the items prior to his first trial or show their materiality at the second trial precludes him from prevailing in this appeal. (Carman, 658 P.2d at 140.)