Main Issues: Brady v. Maryland U.S. 83 (1963)
William Brooks was strangled following a robbery in 1958, and John Brady and Charles Boblit were arrested for his murder. It is worth mentioning that Brady and Boblit were each tried individually. Brady was the first to appear in court, and he asked the prosecution for a pre-trial request about all of his partner’s statements (Champ, 2016). The prosecution handed over Boblit’s confession, in which he admitted to taking part in the robbery but stated that Brady murdered Brooks. On the other hand, Brady stated at his trial that he took part in the crime but that his accomplice killed William Brooks. Brady was found guilty of first-degree murder and condemned to death, notwithstanding this information.
Brady’s lawyer sought to investigate all of Boblit’s remarks to the prosecutor to rationalize his client’s claim. Even though the prosecutor allowed defense counsel access to these confessions, he did not provide him with the one confession in which Boblit admitted to the murder, dated July 9, 1958 (Champ, 2016). Brady submitted a request for a new trial, claiming that the prosecution had disregarded the Due Process Clause by neglecting to reveal this information prior to trial. Following a thorough investigation, the Supreme Court determined that suppressing favorable material amounted to perjury or false testimony and therefore violated the Due Process Clause (Champ, 2016). The court reasoned that if the jury had known that Boblit was the one who killed Brooks, Brady would not have been condemned to death.
Thus, this case has become one of the main precedents that initiated changes in the conduct of the trial. In the course of this case, issues arose related to the fact that the prosecution intentionally concealed information that led to the imposition of a death sentence on an innocent person (Champ, 2016). Consequently, there are problems here that the defense does not have sufficient information that would justify its position on innocence. In addition, this case had an impact on changing the trial process for other defendants, as was the case in Giglio v. United States and United States v. Agurs.
Main Issues: Giglio v. United States U.S. 150 (1972)
A similar problem of concealment is necessary for the defense during the trial. The fact is that during the investigation, transactions are concluded with witnesses or accomplices of the case, which are aimed at obtaining additional information necessary for the conviction. Thus, in this case, the main issue is the extent to which the defender can receive information about what conditions were provided to the witnesses (Hogan, 2022). This has an important impact on the course of sentencing since such a factor can cast doubt on the honesty of the prosecution participants. This is especially important in a case where there is only one key witness based on whose testimony a guilty verdict was passed (Hogan, 2022). In 1966, Giglio was found guilty of bank fraud when the FBI revealed that he had forged around $2,300 in money orders.
Giglio’s plan was supported by Robert Taliento, who worked as a teller at the bank. The U.S. Attorney’s Office gave Taliento amnesty for his testimony against Giglio when their crimes were exposed. After the testimony given by Robert Taliento, the court charged Giglio. However, despite Taliento being an accomplice, he managed to avoid a sentence. Thus, a situation arose in which the statements made by Taliento were the only ones indicating the guilt of the defendant (Hogan, 2022). The witness himself pointed out that he was not offered any rewards or indulgences for providing this information. Thus, in this case, another problem arises related to the lies of Robert Taliento. However, a new lawsuit was then brought since the Assistant U.S. Attorney provided evidence that he promised Taliento that he would avoid charges if he testified (Hogan, 2022). Even though this fact did not have the proper impact on changing the sentence imposed by Giglio, it is still vital.
Main Issues: United States v. Agurs U.S 97 (1976)
The cases discussed above affected the specifics of providing the information necessary for the defendant. Thus, all the testimonies of witnesses and other participants in the trial are now provided at the defense’s request (Library of Congress, n.d.). However, in the case of United States v. Agurs, another essential issue arises, which may also affect what the verdict will be. The result was that the prosecution must provide information that can be used to protect the defendant without a direct request.
In this case, Agurs was charged with the murder of James Sewell when she was found in a motel room. During the trial, the prosecution claimed that Agurs was a prostitute who tried to steal money and was noticed by Sewell during this process (Library of Congress, n.d.). However, the defense argued that this was done in self-defense. The evidence provided did not seem convincing, and the woman was convicted. However, after a request for a new trial, based on James Sewell’s criminal records, it was discovered that he had assault charges. Thus, even though the data was not requested, the fact that they were available affected the judicial process. Therefore, the problem of providing all the necessary information is an essential aspect of the integrity of the judicial process.
Champ, D. (2016). Brady v. Maryland, attorney discipline, and materiality: Failed investigations, Long-Chain evidence, and beyond. Hofstra Law Review, 45(2), 515–536. Web.
Hogan, T. P. (2022). An unfinished symphony: Giglio v. united states and disclosing impeachment material about law enforcement officers. Criminal Justice, 36(4), 11-22. Web.
Library of Congress. (n.d.). U.S. reports: United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97 (1976). The Library of Congress. Web.