Brief on rehearing en banc for Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of appellant.
Argument: The district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion to compel the testimony of co-defendant, which if granted could have conferred judicial immunity for that testimony was reversible error. “Government speculation that a witness might commit perjury cannot override the defendant’s constitutional right of access to evidence that could contribute to the establishment of reasonable doubt.” (Br. at 3-11.) “In reaffirming the defendant’s right to compel witness testimony, the court should make clear that ‘exculpatory and essential’ evidence is evidence that could contribute substantially to raising a reasonable doubt.” (Br. at 11-15.)
Brief for Amici Curiae [National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Innocence Project, American Civil Liberties Union, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Legal Aid Society, Bronx Defenders, Center for Appellate Litigation, Office of the Appellate Defender, and Chief Defenders Association of New York] in Support of Respondent
Argument: 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.