W ithout question, as a sworn LEO, you have received training regarding your duty to disclose to the prosecution material and/or exculpatory evidence in any case you’re involved with. What? You say you haven’t received such training? Well, you’re certainly aware of the obligations imposed on the prosecution and police by the landmark decision of Brady v. Maryland1 and its progeny, right? No? Well, your failure to disclose such evidence can result in civil liability not only against your agency, but against you.
A Brady violation comprises three components:
The court noted that the inspectors’ position was also untenable in light of the Supreme Court’s admonition that “Brady suppression occurs when the government fails to turn over even evidence that is ‘known only to police investigators and not to the prosecutor.’”10
With respect to Ricard’s confession, the inspectors argued that they didn’t commit a Brady violation because the defense attorney was eventually made aware of the confession at the hearing on the motion for a new trial. However, the appellate court agreed with the district court that it was much too late for the disclosure to be of value to Tennison and Goff. The inspectors also argued that they didn’t have a duty to disclose a confession that was made after a guilty verdict was rendered, that was “inherently unbelievable,” and that was given by someone who earlier had denied involvement in the murder.12
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