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Lecture 6

CRM/LAW C7 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Exculpatory Evidence, Routine Activity Theory, Perjury

Criminology, Law and Society
Course Code
Terry Dalton

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Week 6
State & Federal Court Systems, Empirical Crime Studies, “White Collar” Crime, Routine
Activity Theory, Bogira Ch.9-11
Chapter 9-11 Bogira
Much discretion does the prosecutor have? A breathtaking amount
Exculpatory Evidence: Evidence that the defendant did not commit the crime (prosecutors are
required to share the evidence with the defendant or defendant’s attorney)
Brady v. Maryland 50 Year Anniversary
May 13, 2013 @ 12:29 AM by Tim Lynch
Today marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most important criminal justice rulings of the
Supreme Court. On May 13, 1963 the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in the case of
Brady v. Maryland. The case stands for the proposition that the government has a legal
obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence and information to the accused and his defense
attorney. Here is the key passage:
We now hold that the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon
request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment,
irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution... Society wins not only when the
guilty are convicted, but when criminal trials are fair; our system of the administration of justice
suffers when any accused is treated unfairly.
language from a related case that the Court quotes approvingly:
“Petitioner’s papers are inexpertly drawn, but they do set forth allegations that his imprisonment
resulted from perjured testimony, knowingly used by the State authorities to obtain his
conviction, and from the deliberate suppression by those same authorities of evidence favorable
to him. These allegations sufficiently charge a deprivation of rights guaranteed by the Federal
Constitution, and, if proven, would entitle petitioner to release from his present custody….”
Double-filing system used by Chicago detectives?
Practice was to not include anything that would hurt the case against defendant in the
official file
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Police crime lab micro analysts also didn’t disclose-where are her loyalties? (towards
Prepping a witness
It can be tempting to suggest answers to witnesses that “eliminate ambiguities or
Difficulty prosecutors have of letting go of a personal conviction that a person is guilty even
when that flies in the face of all evidence
Locallo states, it is unfair to contend that anyone was trying to railroad George Jones.
--felt bad for Purvy and his parents and wants closure but didn’t feel bad for Jones
--“I don’t buy that he wasn’t the guy”
Locallo calls the notion that someone could be deeply wounded by wrongful prosecution for a
murder and rape which included 36 days spent in jail to be Bullshit!
Orange on death row. Description of extreme police brutality for confession.
“Evil thrives when defendants are deprived of their constitutional protection.”
Report on confessions and 1980s-not just the usual beatings of planned torture
Electric shocks to get confessions, 1995 report indicated inflicted punishment, far out of
proportion to the necessities of the cities interest to solve a crime.
Psychological ploys have displaced physical abuse-why?
--Doesn’t leaves marks and harder to disprove statements from defendant that confession
was freely and voluntary given. This was used as evidence, there was no torture
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From a 1992 University of Colorado law review article-Chicago police lie persuasively in court
and throughout the investigative process and their perjury is nurtured by prosecutors and
tolerated by judges.
--Probable cause; natural extensive that the right thing must be done
Heater cases (one that attracts media attention) are less likely to have police veracity called into
question, judges can afford to have principles with small cases.
The hotter the heater case, the less likely the judge will protect the defendant’s
constitutional right. Why?
--Fear of adverse publicity
Despite Locallo’s knowledge and experience, 100s of requests to suppress confessions
Caruso & son - want curfew on defendant lifted to attend wedding reception for relative
--lots of influence because of money
“Mob connections are not his sons, Caruso states.”
Court systems
There are two court systems one State and one Federal
The federal courts referred to as article III courts since they were established under article III of
the Constitution.
The Constitution didn’t mention the number of Supreme Court justices.
--Judiciary act of 1789 (establish six members in the Supreme Court also establishing
federal circuit courts in federal district courts)
--most cases heard by federal district courts arise from claims on a federal law civil or
criminal or constitutional challenges or civil cases arising out of diversity jurisdiction amounts
exceeding $75000
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