Disciplinary Assignment

DISCIPLINARY ASSIGNMENT PART 2 INSTRUCTIONSThis is a continuation of the Disciplinary Assignment Part 1. Students read the following journal articles found in the Reading and Study section of Module/Week 7.Judge, Lisa A.(November 2005).Disclosing Officer Untruthfulness to the Defense: Is a Liars Squad Coming to Your Town?.The Police Chief, 72(11). Serpas, Ronal, & Hagar, Michael.(August 2010).The Untruthful Employee: Is Termination the Only Response?.The Police Chief, LXXVII(8). Copyrights held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA. Instructions: Since 1963, a series of United States Supreme Court case decisions have clarified that in criminal cases, prosecutors must disclose to the defense evidence favorable to the defendant. This includes information that may be used to impeach the credibility of government witnesses, including law enforcement officers. These decisions mean that police officers who have documented histories of lying in official matters are liabilities to their agencies, and these histories may render them unable to testify credibly. With this in mind, you are the Chief of Police of a municipality. Your Deputy Chief of Police advises you that one of your officers was investigated for inappropriate use of one of the computers in the patrol division. As a result of this internal investigation, it was determined that the officer used this computer to search pornographic web sites. When confronted with this allegation, the officer denied any knowledge of this incident. Upon further investigation, the computer crimes analyst determined that the officer’s logon password was used to enter the unauthorized web sites. The officer then admitted to his wrongdoing and stated it would never happen again. This officer has been with your organization for 15 years, and the only other disciplinary action taken against him was for being involved in an at fault traffic accident 10 years ago. As the Chief of Police, you must decide how you will handle this situation?Write a professional memorandum outlining and explaining how you will handle this situation. What recommendations would you make? Use the references listed below to assist and support you in your decision.You must have at least 2.5 pages and should attach these new pages to Part 1, for a total of 5 pages. Therefore, in Module/Week 7 you will submit the entire Disciplinary Assignment with a title page, and a reference page citing the cases you used, and any outside references.Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963)Giglio v. United States, 405 U. S. 150 (1972)United States v. Agurs, 427 U. S. 97 (1976)Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U. S. 419 (1995)United States v. Bagley, 473 U. S. 667 (1985)Attached is the 1st part of the assignment!!
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MEMO
TO:
FROM:
DATE:
SUBJECT: Defense Litigation in the USA
Brady v Maryland
The decision in 1983 is a landmark one because the Supreme Court helped defenses all over the
country, for years to come, to have the right to information that they previously could not get. It n
Brady v Maryland, the court decided that the prosecution must forward to the defense all the evidential
information which can exonerate a defendant or respondent. In other words, the court decreed that the
prosecution could no longer hold on to exculpatory evidence. Before that decision, the prosecution in a
case took their matters as adversarial in the strict sense, all that mattered was the conviction.
In the case, Leo Brady and Donald Boblit were in the docks for murder. Leo Brady admitted that he
was an accessory to the crime and not the actual perpetrator. The prosecution went on to use that
confession to convict Brady for the offense. But then Bobilt had also signed an admission on the other
hand. In it, he said that it was he that murdered that victim. It exonerated Leo Brady from culpability in
the crime. The Court of Appeal in Maryland affirmed both convictions on appeal. The only issue that it
seized itself of was the question of what punishment to subject either convict. That was what sent
Brady to the Supreme Court of the country.
Withholding exculpatory evidence amounts to denying Brady due process, a right enshrined in the 14th
Amendment. The fallout from the Supreme Court letting Brady fee was immense. For one, officers that
withheld the information got a backlash. Even today, defenses look at the credibility of the
investigating officers for evidence of a ‘Brady’ (read dishonest) cop.
Giglio v United States
The Giglio case is intriguing because it extended the rule in Brady. The 1872 case advanced the Brady
rule (of non-withholding exculpatory evidence). Here, the prosecution intentionally avoided telling the
jury that a crucial witness had made a deal with them not to be prosecuted if he testified in their favor.
The court said that it amounted to a failure to present all the material evidence in the litigation and
amounted to flouting the right to due process. In essence, the court told the prosecution that there
would be a trial ‘de novo.’
The extension from the Brady case comes out clearly. Previously, the courts ought only to reveal
information that was of an exculpatory nature. Now, they also had to hand over to the defense counsels
any info that involved its witnesses and the intentions behind their witness statements. The issue, in this
case, is that the credibility of a witness is significant to the sanctity of the litigation. The intentions and
benefits of the parties in the dispute (outside of the defense counsel and prosecution) must be known to
the court for a fair verdict to be the outcome of the process.
The fallout from Giglio has had a significant impact on the litigation landscape in the United States of
America. It gave rise to a concept called ‘Giglio material.’ That is any information about the deals that
witnesses in the opposing team have cut with the prosecution in exchange for their cooperation on the
matter. From the case, there is an automatic ‘certiorari’ for the provision of those documents. It is
material to defense since some witnesses can pervert the course of justice and shift the center of actual
or collective culpability.
United States v Argus
The fact matrix in the case was that the defendant had lost his case because the prosecution withheld
information on the history of the defendant. There was an altercation between Argus and the victim
‘James Sewell’ that all the witnesses to the matter attested. When they came to the scene they found the
two struggling for possession of the knives. It was the defendant’s screams that attracted attention.
However, while he did not suffer any injuries, the victim was dead on arrival at the hospital. In court,
Argus pleaded self-defense and lost because the prosecution lied by omission. The prosecutor
conveniently hid the fact that the victim of the defendant was a repeat offender. That piece of
information would have gone a long way in validating a claim for self-defense. As a result of the
oversight, the defense counsel was asking for a fresh trial, in light of the possibility of that defense
gaining traction against the conviction of murder in the second degree.
The ruling on the matter was that the failure did not deny the defendant a fair trial if the defense did not
request it. What that then means is that information on the criminal background of an individual does
not matter if the defendant’s corner does not raise it the first time the courts were looking at the matter.
The trial judge is the central cog in this rule of law. If he or she looked at all the information before the
court and deduced that the defendant was guilty without the knowledge that the defendant was not a
hapless ‘saint’ as general litigation will paint victims; then that rationale will stand.
References
Leo Brady v. State of Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963)
John Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972)
United States v. Agurs, 427 U.S. 97, 96 S. Ct. 2392, 49 L. Ed. 2d 342, 1976 U.S. 72

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