Brief filed: 08/02/2018
Carty v. Texas
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 18-50
Decision below 543 S.W.3d 149 (Tex. Crim. App. Feb. 7, 2018)
The Texas court’s prejudice ruling on the Brady violations disregards the realities of criminal trial practice. Sound criminal trial practice discourages exploratory cross-examination. Impeachment is critical to effective cross-examination. The Texas court’s ruling on the Caston Deal ignores sound trial practice. The Texas court’s ruling on the prior inconsistent statements is similarly flawed. The Texas court’s errors reflect broader confusion over how to analyze prejudice from Brady violations. The Texas court’s refusal to conduct cumulative error analysis ignores the real-world interactions among multiple errors. Multiple constitutional violations may combine to render a trial fundamentally unfair. Cumulative error analysis is imperative for Brady and Strickland violations.
Robert K. Kry, MoloLamken LLP, Washington, DC; Jeffrey T. Green, NACDL, Washington, DC.