In 1963, the United States Supreme Court took up the famous Brady versus Maryland case. Several factors made this case stand out among previous criminal cases. For one, the prosecution apparently withheld some vital (Silver, 2001) evidence from the defendant. Consequently, the defendant contested his conviction, citing a breach of the Fourteenth Amendment clause in the US constitution. The defendant claimed that due process had been violated.
In this trial, Maryland prosecuted Boblit and an associate for murder. While Brady admitted to participating in the murder, he claimed that Boblit was responsible for committing the actual murder. It so happened that the prosecution held back a written admission from Boblit confirming that indeed he did the actual killing. Consequently, the Maryland Courts of Appeals asserted the conviction and called for a retrial on the aspect of the punishment meted out. The court detained that withholding of any kind of exculparotory evidence is violation of due process. It also determined that under Maryland state law the withheld evidence might have favored the defendant. Despite this fact, the evidence would also be used to decide on the weight of the penalty he would be given. This led to the Maryland Court of appeal ruling to be declared. Brady uses this case to suggest that the prosecution must disclose material (Kanovitz, 2010) exculpatory evidence to the defense. Any evidence is material to the case hence a reasonable possibility that his sentence would have been different was it that the materials had been disclosed early enough. Brady’s evidence consisted of statements from witnesses and physical evidence that is in conflict with the prosecution’s witnesses, and lastly evidence that could have allowed the defense team to doubt the credibility of the prosecutions witness. This case led to corrupt police officers to be called Brady cops (Grayling, 2010). This ruling made all the prosecutors to inform the attorney whenever a law official is involved in their case has a sustained record for willingly lying in official capacity. Brady evidence will include material evidence to credibility of a civilian witness.
In conclusion, any kind of evidence is important as it will either convict or set the defendant free. It is also mandatory for all parties to release their evidence before the case is presented in a court of law. Looking at the above cases, some parties had hidden some evidence so that they could affect the court’s ruling. It is important to note that any kind of interference to justice is considered as an offence and obstruction to justice hence if found one can be tried in the court.
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