Evidence and the Brady Rule
This doctrine (not law) constrains certain actions by law enforcement, prosecutors and Judges.. Evidence under 46 CFR 201. 6 – Evidence admissible, evidence presented to the court must be relevant, material tothe case, reliable and probative. In addition, evidence may not be unduly repetitious, cumulative, irrelevant or immaterial.. Relevant Evidence Evidence is relevant if it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would have been without the evidence and the fact is of consequence in determining the action.. Until 1975, the law of evidence was left to the Common Law. The splrlt of this evidentiary law Is to keep out evidence that Is irrelevant, excessively epetitive or immaterial to the case from being heard.
The fact that I donate to certain agencies is irrelevant to the fact that I ran a stop sign or made an illegal left term. Evidence is not relevant unless it can be authenticated and demonstrated in court. Otherwise, there s no point to having Irrelevant or Immaterial evidence presented. This Is why direct evidence from witnesses who saw an Incrlmlnatlng event is favored. A question that should be answered is whether or not this evidence proves what the attorney is attempting to prove. Additionally, would the evidence Increase the probability of an event occurring. Ibid) Reliable Evidence Reliable depends upon what you are talking about. If It Is scientific In nature, reliable evidence is that which can be repeated or sustained by similar means. If it is in regard to energy, then it revolves around the certifiable nature of a power producing company such as Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Competent Evidence Legally admissible evidence Is competent as It tends to prove the matter In dispute. Competent evidence could be DNA under the fingernails of a murder victim which ould prove the innocence or guilt of the defendant being charged.
The Brady Rule The Brady rule is named for a court case: Brady v Maryland 373 U. S. 83 (1963), which requires that prosecutors must disclose materially exculpatory evidence In the government’s (prosecution) possession to the defense. Failure to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence could result in the material being excluded by the judge in the court case. This rule puts the burden on the defendant as he/she must demonstrate that there Is a reasonable probability that the undisclosed evidence could make a ifference In the outcome of the case .
Types of Pleas The types of pleas available are guilty, not guilty, no contest or not guilty by reason of 1 OF3 Insanity A OITTerent type 0T plea to me Is tne Altoro Pleas wnere tne Judge accepts a plea of guilty even though the defendant pleads not guilty. Finally, there is the conditional plea where the defendant pleads guilty on the condition that he be allowed to appeal in order to have the evidence of the case reviewed. A defendant may also enter no plea. In that case, the court enters a plea of not guilty. . These leas, I assume, depend upon the strength of the evidence presented by the prosecution – among other factors.
Weeks v. United States, 232 U. S. 383 (1914) What are the basic facts of the case? Letters were seized from the residence of Weeks – in violation of the fourth amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure (fourth amendmento Letters were determined to have been seized without a search warrant and used against Weeks in order to obtain an indictment. Weeks was convicted of using the mails for the purpose of selling chances to win prizes. A writ of error was ssued to contest his arrest, conviction and imprisonment.
Weeks was arrested without a warrant at the Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. Officers entered his household with the help of a neighbor and searched his residence without obtaining a search warrant. What is the evidence that is relevant, reliable or competent? Weeks, the defendant, stated that a warrant was not obtained and violated his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. Weeks’ argument was that the evidence was obtained illegally, should be returned to his possession nd that the evidence should not be used against him in court.
The evidence was the papers discovered by the US Marshalls without being given a warrant to search his premises. Even though the defendant, Weeks, submitted timely requests to retrieve his property, the court denied his petition and used the evidence against him. While the papers seized from the defendant’s residence were relevant as he was charged with fraud and reliable as they had his name on them, the evidence was ruled incompetent on the basis that the defendant’s constitutional rights were iolated. Weeks’ conviction was ultimately overturned or reversed on that basis.