What is Brady Evidence in a Criminal Case?

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What is Brady Evidence? 

In Brady v. Maryland, the United States Supreme Court held the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution

Failure to turn over to the defense all exculpatory evidence in the prosecution’s possession is a violation of Due Process of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. 

Prosectuion Must Discolse Any Information or Material That Is:

  • Material (and)
  • Relevant to guilt or punishment (and)
  • Favorable to the accused (and)
  • Within the actual or constructive knowledge of state (which would include in the possession of anyone acting on behalf of the State). 

Things Held to be Brady Material 

  • Inconsistent descriptions by different witnesses of the criminal.
  • Inconsistent descriptions by different witnesses of the crime.
  • The fact that some of the witness’s descriptions of the criminal matched the police informant.
  • That there were pending charges against the police informant. 
  • That there was an ongoing investigation of the police informant concerning other crimes.
  • That the police informant made inconsistent statements to the police about the crime and about his accusation of the defendant. 
  • That the police had other leads and information that they failed to follow up on or investigate, that could have pointed the finger at someone other than the defendant.
  • That before accusing the defendant, one of the witnesses previously said that she had not actually seen the crime.
  • That a witness’s description of the crime and/or the criminal became more “accurate” and more certain after the witness met with police and/or prosecutors, or after the witness testified at a first hearing or trial.
  • That a witness’s prior statements omit significant details or facts that the witness “remembered” at trial.
  • That a witness’s trial testimony omitted significant details or facts that the witness mentioned in prior statements.
  • That a witness or informant made statements that incriminated himself in the crime charged against the defendant. 

If You Have Questions Regarding a Criminal Matter

Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.

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