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Incentivized Informants, Brady, Ruiz, and Wrongful Imprisonment: Requiring Pre-Plea Disclosure of Material Exculpatory Evidence

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dc.contributor
dc.contributor.author Surratt, Markus
dc.date.accessioned 2018-03-29T14:03:03Z
dc.date.available 2018-03-29T14:03:03Z
dc.date.issued 2018-03
dc.identifier.citation 93 Wash. L. Rev. 523 (2018) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0043-0617
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773.1/1780
dc.description Volume 93, no.1, March 2018 en_US
dc.description.abstract Abstract: An incentivized informant scandal recently hit Orange County, California where county officials were caught lying, hiding, and not providing information about their informants. Concerned citizens, attorneys, and scholars are beginning to ask more questions as these stories receive increased nationwide attention: what should we do about false incentivized informant testimony? What can we do? Under Brady, Giglio, Ruiz, and their progeny, in criminal cases the government must turn over any material exculpatory evidence that it possesses, or that is available, when the defendant decides to go to trial. However, if the government does not know—or purports not to know—about material exculpatory information, such as an informant’s testimonial history, then there are often inadequate guidelines, rules, or incentives in place for the government to seek out and turn over this type of information. Moreover, because about 95% of state and federal cases end in plea deals, an informant’s credibility usually eludes public, judicial, and the accused’s scrutiny. This Comment offers solutions for legislatures, courts, and other government actors to use to help reduce wrongful imprisonment caused by false incentivized informant testimony. First, it outlines the types of information about incentivized informants that the government should seek out. Second, it offers several solutions and, working within United States v. Ruiz’s framework, this Comment suggests a legal standard for when the government must provide material information about an informant before a plea deal: when the government’s case primarily relies on informant testimony but material exculpatory evidence in its possession shows actual innocence. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Seattle: Washington Law Review, University of Washington School of Law en_US
dc.subject Comment en_US
dc.title Incentivized Informants, Brady, Ruiz, and Wrongful Imprisonment: Requiring Pre-Plea Disclosure of Material Exculpatory Evidence en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.rights.holder Copyright 2018 by Washington Law Review Association. en_US


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