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LOCAL POLICIES

Douglas County District Attorney’s Brady/Giglio checklist:

20220110-DgCo-DA-Giglio-checklist

Douglas County law enforcement’s uniform Brady/Giglio policy:

20220415-Law-enforcement-uniform-Brady-Giglio-policy

MORe Coverage of Brady/Giglio

Brady Basics

Officers called to testify are subject to scrutiny during court proceedings. Prosecutors need to be aware of any dishonesty or bias in criminal and professional histories, and they have a legal duty to turn that information over to defense attorneys.

Lies from law enforcement can lead to guilty defendants walking free, innocent defendants getting convicted, and crime victims getting no justice or closure. 

Policies dealing with officer truthfulness and disclosure of evidence are often called “Brady-Giglio” policies. 

Put very simply, Brady v. Maryland and Giglio v. United States were landmark cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors must provide to defense attorneys all evidence that could show that a defendant is not guilty. That includes information that could make a jury question a particular witness’s credibility — for instance, if a witness had been granted immunity in exchange for their testimony.

If a law enforcement officer commits a “Brady” violation, that would generally mean they had withheld exculpatory evidence or that they had fabricated evidence; “Giglio” evidence would generally include information showing that an officer had been untruthful, had shown racial bias, had a criminal history or history of professional complaints, and more. 

Why does it matter? 

All of this information could be critical to a defendant getting a fair trial. When there are violations, it can mean that cases get dismissed or convictions get overturned. That’s a big reason why most prosecutors won’t allow “Brady- or Giglio-impaired” officers to testify in their cases. 

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