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Brady v. Maryland

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  • Brady v. Maryland

    Question regarding the above title.

    I have read many a posting regarding LEO candidates and past convictions and responses from members etc.


    Taken from wikipedia:

    "Police officers who have been dishonest are sometimes referred to as "Brady cops." Because of the Brady ruling, prosecutors are required to notify defendants and their attorneys whenever a law enforcement official involved in their case has a sustained record for knowingly lying in an official capacity.[4] Brady evidence also includes evidence material to credibility of a civilian witness, such as evidence of false statements by the witness or evidence that a witness was paid to act as an informant.[5]"

    Some responses given by members state that the Brady law will come into effect if you have ever committed a crime. My question is how so? Unless I am interpreting this all wrong, it seems that a past crime (or untruthfulness) committed while not in official capacity and not as a an officer will not trigger this.

    thoughts?

  • #2
    Brady itself, perhaps not, but in the law enforcement world, you really have no private life. Past arrests, convictions, bankruptcies, even Facebook and Twitter will be gathered by the defense attorneys in order to go after the credibility of an officer or even a witness. They attack your reasons for stoping, arresting, and testifying. All they have to do is create doubt in the mind of the jury as to your intentions and your case can be toast. Because of this, many will refer to Brady as an example, and easy reference people can look too, of the type of behavior that can eliminate an applicant from being hired or even cost an officer their job. If you can't be trusted at court, what good are you in validating your arrests?

    Comment


    • #3
      This will explain a little more

      http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/m...ssue_id=102003
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

      Comment


      • #4
        If you're looking for a keyword, one which cuts directly to the heart of your question, it is "credibility". Look it up, digest it.

        Comment


        • #5
          I see what you all are saying. You can be the most truthful officer (No brady file) but if you have a conviction from the past (Pre LEO) the defense will find it, mention it in court the word relevance? may pop up, and defense with say never mind and boom--the jury heard it.

          Comment


          • #6
            You're close, but again, it's credibility. That's it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Let me "splain". Relevance may, or may not apply in the discussion we're having. Credibility always will. Keep in mind that it's the job of the opposing attorney to "impeach" or call into question the testimony of a given witness.Thus, the adversarial system. I don't wish to get too far into the province of my attorney colleagues on the forum, but suffice it to say,the truthfulness of a witness, in this case an officer, is always critical.

              This is true even if, even when, the attorney is able to create a doubt in the mind of the court or a jury. Stated another way, the truthfulness (credibility) of the officer is always crucial. This, regardless of the trial or proceeding's outcome.

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              • #8
                Great responses, thank you so much. I was always curious about this topic.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wikipedia isn't a real good reference------------especially when you are talking about legal terms


                  The bottom line is defense attorneys can trigger Brady disclosures just by asking. IF the attorney feels that you as an officer MAY have a impeachable credibility problem they can bring it up and rake you over the coals.

                  Basically if the attorney thinks he/she can get the client off by dragging your past through a knot hole-------they will
                  Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In NY Brady isn't just about lying.........it's about inconsistancies. We speak of "Brady material". Anything you put on paper, even on a matchbook cover, regarding a case must be given to the ADA and he must turn it over to the defense. Don't have any differences between a scrap copy and your official reports. Best officers write nothing down except the reports they turn in. Defense attorneys can have a field day with the smallest discrepancies. Don't get hung up on the lying thing, Brady goes beyond that to competency.
                    Last edited by Dinosaur32; 01-29-2015, 08:48 PM.

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                    • #11
                      After all the responses this topic has received, it makes sense to say it's more than just lying. I guess what gets me the most is that will a defense attorney always do a background on an officer in case that the officer will testify in. It seems that even if an officer maybe had a dui or something in his/her past but was still hired, their past would always be an issue as it pertains to taking the stand and getting raked over said coals.

                      Or I could just be over thinking this entire thing.......

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SleeperGT View Post
                        After all the responses this topic has received, it makes sense to say it's more than just lying. I guess what gets me the most is that will a defense attorney always do a background on an officer in case that the officer will testify in. It seems that even if an officer maybe had a dui or something in his/her past but was still hired, their past would always be an issue as it pertains to taking the stand and getting raked over said coals.

                        Or I could just be over thinking this entire thing.......
                        A good attorney will do ANYTHING to get his client acquitted. Yep, a DUI could come up in a trial............especially if it was DUI trial

                        But actually they don't have to................under Brady all they have to do is ask the prosecutor if there is any "Brady" material on any of the witness's

                        THAT is why backgrounds are extensive--------and many people don't get hired because of "mistakes" in their past
                        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SleeperGT View Post
                          After all the responses this topic has received, it makes sense to say it's more than just lying. I guess what gets me the most is that will a defense attorney always do a background on an officer in case that the officer will testify in. It seems that even if an officer maybe had a dui or something in his/her past but was still hired, their past would always be an issue as it pertains to taking the stand and getting raked over said coals.

                          Or I could just be over thinking this entire thing.......



                          He doesn't have to do a Background on the Officer. The prosecution is required to provide the defense with data/documents/material, it intends to use in the trial. Re-read what my colleague has posted in his Post #10. Then, just for grins, google "Motion for Discovery".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I cannot speak to other jurisdictions, but in my over 40 years involvement in the NY courts I have seen only a few cases where an officers background came up. Those cases were mostly drug investigations. How many cases are actually cop cases? Mope robs old woman...cops lock up mope. Who cares if officer A was suspended in high school for shooting spitballs in class.

                            Comment

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