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Disclosing and Suppressing Evidence. Chapter 12. Discovery. The informal and formal exchange of information between prosecution and defense. Seeks to ensure that the adversary system does not give one side an unfair advantage over the other.

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  • The informal and formal exchange of information between prosecution and defense.
  • Seeks to ensure that the adversary system does not give one side an unfair advantage over the other.
  • No general constitutional right to discovery in a criminal case. (Weatherford v. Bursey)
the prosecutor and the discovery process
The Prosecutor and the Discovery Process
  • Jencks v. U.S.: prior inconsistent statements of a witness must be made available to defense counsel.
  • Brady v. Maryland: due process of law is violated when prosecutors conceal evidence that might be favorable to the defense (applies only to exculpatory evidence).
  • U.S. v. Agnus: Prosecutor need only disclose evidence under Brady if it would have been persuasive and produced reasonable doubt about guilt.
reciprocal disclosure
Reciprocal Disclosure
  • Defense counsel does not have to abide by the same disclosure rules as prosecutor.
  • In most jurisdictions, defense counsel must disclose:
    • Alibi witnesses.
    • Expert witnesses that are to be called.
    • Whether the defendant is planning on relying upon the defense of insanity, diminished responsibility, entrapment, or self-defense.
exclusionary rule
Exclusionary Rule
  • Prohibits the prosecutor from using illegally obtained evidence during a trial.
  • Three exclusionary rules:
    • Identification of suspects (line-ups).
    • Confessions.
    • Searches and seizures.
fifth amendment
Fifth Amendment
  • No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury...; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in a criminal case to be witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without the due process of law...
coerced confessions
Coerced Confessions
  • Brown v. Mississippi: Use of physical coercion to obtain confessions violates the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
  • Ashcraft v. Tennessee: Psychologically coerced confessions are not voluntary and therefore not admissible in court.
miranda v arizona
Miranda v. Arizona
  • If a suspect is in custody and the police are interrogating him, the police must first tell him:
    • You have the right to remain silent.
    • Anything you say can and will be used against you in an court of law.
    • You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him/her present with you while you are being questioned.
    • If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning, if you wish.
exceptions to miranda
Exceptions to Miranda:
  • Voluntary statements
  • Public Safety Exception
  • “Consent” (Waiving of your rights)
  • “Spontaneous declarations”
miranda jurisprudence
Miranda Jurisprudence
  • Harris v. New York
  • New York v. Quarles
  • Davis v. U.S.
  • Texas v. Cobb
  • Minnick v. Mississippi
  • Dickerson v. U.S.
fourth amendment
Fourth Amendment
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath and affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
the exclusionary rule and the fourth amendment
The Exclusionary Rule and the Fourth Amendment
  • Prohibits the prosecutor from using illegally obtained evidence during a trial.
  • Weeks v. U.S.: established the exclusionary rule for federal prosecutions.
  • Mapp v. Ohio: Extended the exclusionary rule to the states.
exclusionary rule jurisprudence
Exclusionary Rule Jurisprudence
  • Illinois v. Wardlow: A person running at the sight of a police officer could justify a stop-and-frisk.
  • U.S. v. Drayton: Police officers do not have to advise suspects of their right not to consent to a search.
  • Kyllo v. U.S.: Police may not use a thermal imaging device to detect the presence of high-intensity lamps used to grow marijuana.
  • Florida v. J.L.: Police can’t stop and search a person for a gun solely on the basis of an anonymous tip.
search warrants
Search Warrants

Search Warrants require…

  • Probable Cause.
  • Signed “affidavits” by police.
  • Issuance by a Judge or magistrate.
  • A specific description of the person/place/things, etc., to be searched and seized.
search and seizure jurisprudence
Search and Seizure Jurisprudence
  • Terry v. Ohio: Police officers may conduct a frisk of the outer clothing on the basis of reasonable suspicion that a crime is being contemplated.
  • Chimel v. California: In a search incident to arrest, the police may search only the defendant’s person can the area within the immediate vicinity.
  • U.S. v. Leon: Creates a limited “good-faith exception.”
more search and seizure jurisprudence
More Search and Seizure Jurisprudence
  • Illinois v. Krull: Good faith exception applied to a warrantless search, even when the state statute was late found to violate the Fourth Amendment.
  • Maryland v. Garrison: Evidence is admissible even though the specifics in the search warrant were inaccurate.
  • Knowles v. Iowa: Issuing a speeding ticket does not give police authority to search the car.
  • Arizona v. Evans: Evidence is admissible even though the specifics in the warrant were based on computer error.
issues in search and seizure law in a nutshell
Issues in Search and Seizure Law in a Nutshell
  • Stop and Frisk
  • Pat-downs
  • Good Faith Exception
  • Public Safety Exception
  • Expectations of Privacy
  • Exigent Circumstances
  • Arms Length Rule
warrantless searches
Warrantless Searches
  • Consent
  • Plain View
  • Incident to Lawful Arrest
  • Vehicle Searches:
    • Probable Cause
    • Consent
    • Plain view
suppression hearings
Suppression Hearings
  • Motions by defense to suppress certain evidence that the defense believes was gleaned illegally.
  • Usually as a result of a violation of the suspect’s 4th or 5th Amendment rights.
  • Judges hear the argument and make a ruling to grant or reject the motions.
    • Usually not granted.
  • Main witness offering testimony is the police officer.