The Lawrence Community Police Review Board tonight advanced a charter creating a new task force. Members did not raise questions about officer truthfulness policies that have spurred conflict between area law enforcement and the district attorney’s office.
MORe Coverage of Brady/Giglio
No judge reviewed Douglas County Sheriff Jay Armbrister’s personnel file and cleared him of untruthful behavior, as the sheriff wrote in response to questions last month.
The Douglas County DA’s office has dropped an estimated 50 cases because of officer integrity issues — including one homicide case. And dueling policies about officer truthfulness and bias are straining the relationship between police and prosecutors.
In the interest of giving each Douglas County law enforcement agency a fair opportunity to respond to questions about complex issues surrounding officer truthfulness, we are publishing each agency’s full responses.
Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart talks about racial disparities, officer credibility, police in schools, mental health and more in his first sit-down interview with the Times. Plus, get a glimpse at his photography hobby.
A Douglas County judge on Monday reinstated an order to seal the record of a Baldwin City police sergeant after acknowledging that the Kansas statute used to set it aside did not apply.
A judge in Lyon County on Monday granted a petition to expunge the record of a Baldwin City police sergeant who was acquitted of felony official misconduct and misdemeanor theft more than 10 years ago, but the order does not seal the records completely.
Updated article: A Douglas County judge who had initially granted the petition to expunge false impersonation charges from the record of a Baldwin City police sergeant reconsidered that decision Thursday, taking another pending expungement into account.
A Douglas County judge is expected to decide this week whether to seal the arrest record of a Baldwin City police sergeant.
An ex-Lawrence police officer constructed a criminal case against a skateboarder in an attempt to avoid, essentially, the excessive force lawsuit that was filed Friday in federal court, the complaint alleges.
Douglas County prosecutors are not going to oppose the judge’s ruling that Albert Wilson should get a new trial, they said Tuesday.
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.