Monday, May 12, 2008
From the N.Y. Times: After listening carefully to the two policemen, the judge had a problem: He did not believe them.
The officers, who had stopped a man in the Bronx and found a .22-caliber pistol in his fanny pack, testified that they had several reasons to search him: He was loitering, sweating nervously and had a bulge under his jacket.
But the judge, John E. Sprizzo of United States District Court in Manhattan, concluded that the police had simply reached into the pack without cause, found the gun, then “tailored” testimony to justify the illegal search. “You can’t have open season on searches,” said Judge Sprizzo, who refused to allow the gun as evidence, prompting prosecutors to drop the case last May.
From Law.com: Roundly denouncing a Las Vegas federal prosecutor for withholding 650 pages of evidence potentially helpful to two lawyers charged in a stock fraud case, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of all 64 charges and refused to allow a retrial.
"This is prosecutorial misconduct in its highest form; conduct in flagrant disregard of the United States Constitution; and conduct which should be deterred by the strongest sanction available," wrote Judge Kim Wardlaw.
The panel found the Nevada U.S. Attorney's Office violated the constitutional obligation to turn over potentially exculpatory information to the defense under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).