Prosecutor discipline?

Remember Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959)?  Here’s the Justia summary.

At petitioner’s trial in a state court in which he was convicted of murder, the principal state witness, an accomplice then serving a 199-year sentence for the same murder, testified in response to a question by the Assistant State’s Attorney that he had received no promise of consideration in return for his testimony. The Assistant State’s Attorney had in fact promised him consideration, but he did nothing to correct the witness’ false testimony. The jury was apprised, however, that a public defender had promised “to do what he could” for the witness.

The failure of the prosecutor to correct the testimony of the witness which he knew to be false denied petitioner due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 360 U. S. 265-272.

(a) The established principle that a State may not knowingly use false testimony to obtain a tainted conviction does not cease to apply merely because the false testimony goes only to the credibility of the witness. Pp. 360 U. S. 269-270.

(b) The fact that the jury was apprised of other grounds for believing that the witness may have had an interest in testifying against petitioner was not sufficient to turn what was otherwise a tainted trial into a fair one. Pp. 360 U. S. 270-271.

Watch and listen to oral argument in Baca v. Adams.  For the meat, you may want to advance to minute 17, although you get a better understanding from starting at the beginning.

A point on the video – why is this guy arguing for the State.  Where is his boss?  This guy was put up there as a matter of failure in leadership.  Surely the attorney general and his supervisor had to know this case may go difficult.

If you didn’t have time to view, something of a decent summary can be found in the New York Observer.

A magistrate and the California Court of Appeal found that California deputy district attorney Spira lied under oath, testifying against a criminal defendant and in support of a lying “jailhouse snitch” who was placed on the witness stand in apparent subornation of perjury. Making matters worse, the California Attorney General fought “tooth and nail” to keep the transcript of the relevant hearing from the California Court of Appeal.

Read more at here

Why is this relevant – well the co-accused’s testimony and the complaining witness’s testimony in a 120?  To what effect is it a matter of direct evidence that a complaining witness received a transfer as a result of making a sexual assault complaint?  What about the TC who denies the complaining witness has received a benefit as a result of the complaint.

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