News 11.14.11

NY Times Calls for Stronger Protections Against Prosecutorial Misconduct

In an editorial on Saturday, the New York Times  considered last week’s oral arguments in Smith v. Cain and calls on the U.S. Supreme Court to expand protections against prosecutorial misconduct.

As we reported last week, Juan Smith is seeking a new trial because prosecutors withheld evidence that a key witness against him was unsure of his identification.

The current Brady rule requires prosecutors to make two judgments: Is evidence favorable to the defendant? If so, is it likely to affect a decision about guilt or punishment? Too often, prosecutors avoid disclosing evidence by answering no to the second question.

In ruling on the Smith case, the court should refine the Brady rule by eliminating the second question and requiring that prosecutors hand over all favorable evidence. Let a judge or jury weigh its importance.


Read the full editorial

.

Visit the

Prosecutorial Oversight campaign

website to learn more about the issue.

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