Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Argument: In deciding whether to disclose the identity of a government’s confidential informant, Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53 (1957) compels the trial court to rigorously balance the competing interests of both the government and the defendant. When the courts fail to apply this test, erroneous convictions and corruption of the justice system may result: the use of confidential informants undermines the truth-seeking function of criminal trials, increases the chance of wrongful convictions, and fosters an environment where corrupt practices can thrive. To protect against these dangers, the Roviaro balancing test must be rigorously applied, with an eye to the rule that disclosure is required when the informant is not a mere “tipster” but rather a participant, accessory, or material witness to the offense charged, in that his testimony is important to a fair determination of the case.
Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association Regarding the State's Application for Leave to Appeal.
Argument: The Court must hold the State to at least the same high standard that it applies to prisoners' § 7-109 applications. A prompt retrial is better calculated to promote public confidence in the Maryland criminal justice system. Amici urge the Court to deny the State's application for leave to appeal.