Friday, December 13, 2013

9th Circuit's Kozinski Opinion talks of ‘Epidemic of Brady violations’

"The chief judge of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is taking a stand against failure to disclose exculpatory evidence in a case involving a ricin suspect and a lab analyst who was later fired for alleged incompetence.
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski highlighted the issue in a Dec. 10 dissent (PDF) to the denial of an en banc rehearing. He begins this way: “There is an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land. Only judges can put a stop to it.” His dissent was joined by four other 9th Circuit judges."
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Kozinski argues that prosecutors are rarely penalized for Brady violations, and the panel opinion sends the wrong signal. “By turning a blind eye to this grave transgression,” he writes, “the panel has shirked its own duty and compounded the violence done to the Constitution by the Assistant U.S. Attorney.”"

Originally posted by Debra Cassens Weiss, Dec. 11, 2013, in ABA Journal News

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