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Title: A Solution to Brady Violations: Neutral Evidence Referees and Stricter Sanctions
Authors: Licciardi, Ashton J.
Keywords: Brady violations
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Citation: 64 Loy. L. Rev. 693
Abstract: Picture a high-crime, inner-city neighborhood plagued with gang violence that neighboring communities generally try to avoid. In response to these dangerous conditions, law enforcement police the area more strictly to make it safer for residents. One day, a woman’s body is found badly beaten and mutilated. Because gang violence is so prevalent in this neighborhood, the prosecution advances a theory of a violent group attack. This provides a prime opportunity to jail several gang members from the neighborhood. As the trial goes on, the prosecution collects evidence suggesting that a large group of people committed the murder. Evidence also comes forth suggesting that a single actor committed the murder. This evidence, however, is never made known to the defendants. The prosecution proceeds to offer plea deals to the defendants, who are still unaware of the exculpatory evidence. One defendant accepts the guilty plea; the others reject the offers. Eventually, the case goes to trial, and, based on the evidence presented by the prosecution, the jury finds that there was a group attack and convicts the defendants for the woman’s murder. While the defendants may not have necessarily been the ones responsible for the murder, the government feels justice was still properly served, as these dangerous individuals, who are most likely in a gang, are locked up and out of the neighborhood. Surely, a majority of people would find this troubling. There was no justice served—it was only impeded. But the facts presented here are nearly identical to those in Turner v. United States, in which the United States Supreme Court affirmed a narrow view of the Brady doctrine, encouraging courts to permit the withholding of exculpatory evidence from criminal defendants.
ISSN: 0192-9720
Appears in Collections:Law Review

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