Jurdem, LLC
Let Us Help You Today
303-800-3509
877-761-7852
Menu Contact

Why prosecutorial Brady violations are unacceptable

In 1963, a landmark holding by the Supreme Court was handed down. Since Brady v. Maryland was decided, it has arguably influenced every criminal defense and prosecutorial strategy that came after it. In the decision, the Supreme Court held that prosecutors may not withhold any exculpatory evidence from the defense that could potentially have a material affect on the sentence and/or verdict in a criminal case. In fact, the holding actually requires prosecutors to provide criminal defense attorneys with access to any such evidence.

Unacceptably, this holding is not always honored by prosecutors. As Brady violations can materially affect the sentences and/or verdicts in criminal cases by their very nature, they are never acceptable violations of law. Unfortunately, the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently confirmed that, “There is an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land.” He further noted that, “Only judges can put a stop to it.”

If it is possible that a defendant may be either acquitted or given a lesser sentence should certain evidence be brought to light, it is a prosecutor’s duty to share this evidence with defense counsel. Too often, judges let Brady violations slide under the rationale that other evidence of guilt is overwhelming. However, this is an illogical slippery slope. If a Brady violation has occurred, then evidence that could have materially affected the outcome of the case has been withheld. Other evidence may be convincing, but if material evidence is withheld, a Brady violation has occurred and responsible prosecutors should be held properly accountable for that violation. Period. 

Source: New York Times, “Rampant Prosecutorial Misconduct,” Jan. 4, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Honors & Memberships

Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms U.S.News 2018 american board of trial advocates superlawyers national board of trial advocacy - NBTA - established 1977 scott jurdem - Recognized by best lawyers Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms U.S.News 2020

Contact Jurdem, LLC, Today

For experienced legal counsel that can help you defend yourself against a wide range of criminal charges and protect your rights after you have been injured in an accident, turn to Jurdem, LLC, in Boulder. Our criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout Colorado. Call 303-800-3509 or toll free at 877-761-7852 or simply contact us online for a free telephone consultation concerning your criminal defense or personal injury matter. We accept major credit cards for our clients' convenience.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

email us for a response
Jurdem, LLC

Jurdem, LLC
820 Pearl Street, Suite H
Boulder, CO 80302

Toll Free: 877-761-7852
Phone: 303-800-3509
Fax: 303-402-6718
Map & Directions

Call Today