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Criminal Prosecution Outline

LLM Law Outlines > Professional Responsibility Outlines

This is an extract of our Criminal Prosecution document, which we sell as part of our Professional Responsibility Outlines collection written by the top tier of NYU School Of Law students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Professional Responsibility Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

05. Special Issues in Criminal Prosecution
P.386-401
Issues Concerning Prosecutors
 P have broad powers that are usually beyond review: whom to investigate, crimes to charge, whether to offer a plea bargain and whom to offer.
 P has resources far greater than mot Ds

1. Constitutional and Ethical Disclosure Obligations
 ABA Rule 3.8(d) P in a criminal case shall

make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and,
o in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor,
o except when P is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal
[Implemented Brady, but not post-conviction, requires actual knowledge, no duty to enquire]
 Brady v Maryland P's broad duty of disclosure:
o P must disclose material evidence even without request by D, material if there is a reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed to D, the result of the proceeding would have been different

This includes both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence

Reasonable probability: only the likelihood of a different result is great enough to undermine confidence in the outcome of the trial - whether D asked

Brady violation:
 1) evidence at issue must be favorable to the accused (exculpatory or impeaching);
 2) evidence must have been suppressed by the State, either willfully/ inadvertently;
 3) prejudice must have ensured

Evaluation of a Brady claim is usually addressed after conviction, as
 D may not know P withheld until then; and
 whether there is a reasonable probability of a different outcome is retrospective

Brady inquiry occurs after conviction  retrospective
But difficult to impose as it is highly unlikely wrongdoing will ever come to light in the first place
Professional discipline is rare, and violations seldom give rise to liability for money damages
 A person whose conviction is overturned because P has violated Brady may sue P
 but it's the city /county that will be able to pay significant damages, who are not vicariously liable for misconduct of Ps  claimant would need to prove P's conduct was the policy of the city/ county

Smith v Cain the undisclosed evidence consisted of contradictory statements of the only eyewitness.
But state's lawyer maintained that although it would have been prudent to disclose such witness statement, Brady did not require them to do so. Held: the undisclosed statement directly contradicted witnesses' testimony  it was plainly material
Brady v. Rule 3.8(d) (page 391)
o Brady: inquiry occurs after conviction; P may think it would not be discovered; or won't change the outcome fo the case anyway, and no personal consequence on P
o Rule 3.8(d)
 requires timely disclosure of certain info so D can make use of it during trial
 no prejudice component, only a turnover duty
 P doesn't know D's case - not in position to say whether and how info will help D or whether a failure to provide it will prejudice the defense
 Text is explicitly broader than Brady - incentive and Brady is against disclosure

In Re Riek, court opined that rule was not broader than 3.8 and offered policy concern:
 conflicting standard of disclosure cause uncertainty as to how P should proceed

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