Numerous decisions by the United States Supreme Court make clear that a defendant in a criminal trial is constitutionally entitled to disclosure of exculpatory evidence in the possession of the prosecution if there is a reasonable probability that the evidence would affect the outcome of the trial. Nevertheless, prosecutors frequently fail to disclose such evidence. Such failure is attributable to a lack of incentive for prosecutors to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence. This problem could be largely solved by more stringent enforcement of the states’ respective rules of professional conduct. In State v. White, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western district accepted an innovative theory offered by the defense as to how exculpatory evidence would have affected the result of the trial. This Note argues that the court’s holding was correct because acceptance of such innovative theories will provide more incentive for prosecutors to follow the constitutional and ethical rules mandating disclosure of exculpatory evidence.

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