News 10.18.16

Daily News Op-Ed Calls for Brady Reforms

By Innocence Staff

An op-ed published Monday in the New York Daily News highlights the unintended consequences of Brady laws, which require prosecutors to turn over any evidence pointing to the innocence of defendants to their lawyers.

Manhattan attorneys Richard Emery and David Lebowitz write that, in order to avoid possibly aiding the defense in criminal trials by turning over Brady material, police and prosecutors avoid “following leads,” that could uncover evidence that might undermine their theories of how crimes occurred.

Citing the Central Park Jogger case as an example, Emery and Lebowitz point out that police failed to consider as a suspect a man who was identified as the perpetrator of another rape in Central Park only two days prior. DNA later proved the man to be the actual perpetrator and the five young men wrongfully convicted of the crime were exonerated.

Emery and Lebowitz note that three of their own clients were recently exonerated of two 1995 murders after they discovered that the actual perpetrator of one of the murders confessed to the crime many years prior.

The attorneys call for policies requiring police to follow leads that might reveal alternate suspects as well as ethics rules barring prosecutors from instructing police to halt an investigation to avoid uncovering evidence of the defendant’s innocence.

As the attorneys note, “ethical cops and prosecutors should welcome these reforms.”

Read the op-ed here.

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  1. Marcia says:

    I also find it utterly repulsive that when there is evidence and proof that police or prosecutors,
    as far as I know, the guilty parties are never held accountable. i

  2. “Constitutions adopted in the Twentieth Century contain not only guarantees of freedom for the individual but they state however badly they are enforced–certain claims that the individual should have upon the Government…” CHAPTER XXVI ; SOCIAL RIGHTS, I. INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIAL RIGHTS: ref: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, Civil Liberties and Individual Rights, SECOND EDITION, WILLIAM COHEN, JON KAPLAN, University Casebook Series, Foundation Press c: 1976, 1982, page, 868:
    Yesterday, October 20, 2016, I read op-ed page calling for Brady reforms. I wanted to understand what, all of us each working in our own way to bring the understanding necessary for a future world might expect …however before the evening was out, a story on the local news from the Town of Lawrence MA. drove the point of Social Rights home, I suspect, not only for me but for a lot of people: I am glad I was thinking of your op-ed page at the time. If you care to, Click on: http://www.fox25boston.com/news/man-arrested-for-alleged-sexual-assault-of-13-year-old-in-lawrence/459180234:
    http://www.eagletribune.com/news/merrimack_valley/man-accused-of-raping–year-old-held-without-bail/article_d03482ec-97a7-11e6-aa94-43f77a9f2a08.html
    http://www.fox25boston.com/news/fox-25-investigates/ankle-bracelet-breakdown-mass-losing-track-of-criminals/143478092

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