The Supreme Court of the United States has been very clear that there is no constitutional right to pretrial discovery. [Weatherford v. Bursey, 49 U.S. 545 (1977).] Forcing victims of a crime to turn over privileged material – like notes from private therapy sessions and rape crisis counseling – undermines victims’ privacy rights and could prevent victims from seeking help. Under Marsy’s Law for Iowa, the defense remains entitled to everything that is discoverable, including pretrial statements made to the police. The defense would have access to everything that is in the hands of the state, including victim and witness statements, medical reports from the incident, and even exculpatory evidence, all of which must be turned over by the state. The defense team can continue to interview witnesses and seek discovery and even interview the victim before trial with his or her consent.
Regarding confrontation, the US Supreme Court has noted that the 6th Amendment right to confront your accuser applies only as a trial right and is satisfied with the ability to cross-examine at trial. The confrontation clause has also been interpreted to occasionally give way to considerations of the necessities of the case and is not an absolute right to face-to-face meeting [Maryland v. Craig, 497 .S. 836 (1990).] The language to refuse a deposition applies only to the victim and protects the victim from unnecessary, cumbersome, and traumatic fishing expeditions from the defense.
Under Marsy’s Law for Iowa, the court becomes a deciding factor on all discovery requests to the victim. A request for discovery can always be brought to the court where the court will consider and weigh the interests of both the defendant and the victim. The court may grant requests made by the defendant for pre-trial discovery or deposition where a compelling need has been shown. It is worth noting here that Iowa is 1 of 5 states in the entire country that even allows the ability to notice a pre-trial criminal deposition of a victim, without motioning the court. Put another way, 45 states in the US currently allow a victim to refuse a pre-trial criminal deposition, and none of those laws have been found to be unconstitutional or affecting the due process rights of the defendant.