Brief filed: 04/01/2019
People v. Giuca
New York Court of Appeals; Case No. APL-2018-00123
Decision below 158 A.D.3d 642 (2nd Dept. 2018)
A prosecutor may not withhold knowledge from the defense of circumstantial evidence from which a jury might reasonably infer that a prosecution witness has a motive to lie simply because the prosecutor believes such a determination would be ‘false,’ nor may it excuse its error years later by citing evidence that also was never presented or vetted at the trial. Evidence of motive must be disclosed so that defense counsel can investigate and present that evidence and the jury—as opposed to the prosecutor—may determine its significance. The people should not be permitted to rely upon information they never used at trial to defeat the materiality of defense-favorable evidence they suppressed.
Joel B. Rudin, NACDL, New York, NY; Barry C. Scheck and Nina R. Morrison, Innocence Project, New York, NY; John C. Schoeffel, Legal Aid Society, New York, NY.