The basis of a fair and free judiciary in the United States is an adversarial system where both sides are equal, albeit from different advantages
applied to account for circumstance.
Among these, the prosecutors have the full power of the State, which includes a virtually unlimited budget, if needed, and manpower with few, if any,
limits. The array against an individual can be daunting if the State chooses for it to be on a given case.
The primary and, in some ways, ONLY real counter for this situation and inherent inbalance of power within the system is a process referred to as
Disclosure. Very simply put and boiled down to it's basics, it means the Prosecution must turn over it's evidence before trial begins. Most
especially, anything they happened to uncover for exculpatory evidence. (or evidence to exclude the suspect from possible guilt).
The failure of prosecutors to divulge exculpatory evidence in criminal cases has reached epidemic proportions, the 9th Circuit's top judge
Reacting to the federal appeals court's refusal to reconsider the case of man convicted in 2003 for possessing Ricin with intent to use it as a
weapon, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski stated that an absence of "professional discipline" and a lack of real consequences has loosed "an epidemic of
Brady violations abroad in the land."
Named for the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark case from 1963, Brady v. State of Maryland, the Brady rule generally requires prosecutors to hand
over all exculpatory evidence to the defense.
It's critical to note here, our system is also separated by different sections. As any fan of Law and Order knows, the people are represented by two
parts. The police who arrest and the District or Prosecuting Attorneys who prosecute. The Court stands as a 3rd section and apart from the first
If one or both of the first two fail, the 3rd...or Court..is rigged before it's even gotten a chance to open the proceedings by lack of facts to work
While Brady violations occur in all courts, Kozinski noted three recent cases in the 9th Circuit where the disclosure rule played a role,
including United States v. Sedaghaty, Aguilar v. Woodford, and United States v. Kohring.
"Protecting the constitutional rights of the accused was just not very high on this prosecutor's list of priorities," Kozinski wrote. "The
fact that a constitutional mandate elicits less diligence from a government lawyer than one's daily errands signifies a systemic problem: Some
prosecutors don't care about Brady because courts don't make them care." (Emphasis in original).
Appellate Courts can sometimes have voices that carry beyond the local circumstances of a case. Occasionally, media picks up on things and runs with
it. This is something almost any decent person can be upset about, as it's the textbook method for a system run amok to literally convict an innocent
Let's hope the words from this decision DO carry beyond it's limited scope and are heard for reform to begin. After all....It isn't JUST a matter
of innocent people convicted. They aren't in there for nothing. SOMEONE actually DID commit whatever crime corruption has miscarried justice for.
THEY got AWAY with it...if an innocent went down.
Many reasons....many indeed, for why this MUST be corrected if it's so bad, even the courts are publicly calling them out for it.