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Article- Brady/Giglio Disclosure Requirements, Part 4

7/14/2016 12:00:00 AM

This is the final article of a four part series

Brady/Giglio in short -When a police officer testifies as a government witness, the prosecutor has the same obligation as with other government witnesses to seek out and disclose Brady/Giglio information that casts doubt on the credibility of the testifying officer (Kyles, 1995), and police must give the prosecutor any impeachment information in their possession.

Written by Pam McDonald, Randy Means

Part One laid out the fundamental obligations created by the Brady/Giglio line of cases. Part Two addressed which sorts of officer dishonesty require disclosure-one of several gray areas in Brady/Giglio law. Part three clarified the difference between Brady/Giglio requirements and ordinary criminal discovery efforts to access police department administrative files. Two court cases are used to illustrate how those courts handled, or mishandled, these issues.

Part four deals with disclosure of relatively minor lies about purely administrative matters

It is easy to deal with lies when there is conclusive evidence that an officer has lied under oath, in official internal investigations, or has materially falsified official records. Those are termination cases in almost every agency. Other easy ones are when local prosecutors have laid out specific rules for disclosure and all we have to do is follow them or when discovery processes have led to court orders requiring disclosure of specific records.

But what if none of those factors have made decision-making easy and we have to make decisions about disclosure of relatively minor lies about purely administrative matters? Those are the hard ones, at least for those who really understand the entirety of the legal landscape. Let's do one of those.

Scenario

A veteran, stellar employee is five minutes late to a roll call-type briefing that was to start the work day. When asked privately by his supervisor why he was late, he says his car broke down. Two hours later, that supervisor hears from a colleague that the actual reason the employee was late was that he overslept.

An hour later, the supervisor sees the employee and asks him to clarify why he was late to work. He repeats his earlier story that his car broke down. The supervisor then tells him that the supervisor has received contrary information and is going to verify the car-breaking-down story. The employee then admits apologetically that he has lied, that his car did not break down, and that the real reason he was late was that he overslept. READ ARTICLE


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