Thursday, November 26, 2015
In Brady v. Maryland, the Supreme Court declared that the State has an affirmative obligation under the Due Process Clause to disclose material exculpatory evidence to the defense. Sometimes impeachment evidence can be material, such as when there is key evidence that could have been used to call into question the credibility of the key witness for the prosecution. It is more typical, however, for substantive evidence to be material. When I teach Brady, the primary example I give is the prosecution failing to turn over the fact that someone told the police that somebody other than the defendant committed the crime. Amazingly, just this scenario might have played out in a murder case in Baltimore involving the Deputy Attorney General handling Adnan's appeal.
Here's the Baltimore Sun article on the case, and here is Rabia Chaudry's blog post about it, which includes the full motion. I will be very interested to see how the Deputy AG responds to these allegations because he faces a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, which comes in the form of Detective Bradley Hood. Here's an excerpt from the testimony of Detective Hood, who was involved in taking the "alternate suspect" statement described in the introduction: