The Columbus Dispatch recently wrote an article detailing how Columbus Police Department deal with cops who get caught lying; just like Rob Gordon in Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, they made a list.
As it should be, the 1963 Case Brady v. Maryland (373 U.S. 83) was cited as the reason for that list. The article even tells its readers that police brass are required to disclose to prosecutors when cops are dishonest. That’s true. And we have Brady to \ thank for it.
In Brady, the Supreme Court held that withholding exculpatory evidence violates due process “where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment.” Exculpatory evidence is “material” if “there is a reasonable probability that his conviction or sentence would have been different had these materials been disclosed.” Brady evidence includes statements of witnesses or physical evidence that conflicts with the prosecution’s witnesses, and evidence that could allow the defense to impeach the credibility of a prosecution witness. The Ohio Rules of Evidence also permit law enforcement officers to be cross-examined with anything that is clearly probative of their truthfulness. This is where an officer’s track record of dishonesty comes into play.
The Brady case was significant because prosecutors had failed to disclose a statement written by Brady’s co-defendant. In that statement, the co-defendant admitted to single-handedly committing the murder for which they were both charged. The U.S. Supreme Court said the statement was vital to Brady’s punishment and the case was sent back to the trial court on that issue.
There were many examples of unthruthful officers in the above article. And evidence being withheld or cops being dishonest doesn’t happen just in murder cases. TLOBJ has seen dishonest cops in cases of Disorderly Conduct, DUI, and even Rape. If you are accused of a crime and believe you are a victim of an unthruthful officer, The Law Office of Brian Jones is here to help. TLOBJ has dealt with dishonest