In Brady v. Maryland, the Supreme Court held that a prosecutor has a due process obligation to disclose exculpatory evidence that is material to guilt or punishment. The failure to fulfill this duty is particularly insidious because it bears directly on both whether an innocent defendant may have been convicted as well as on whether the adjudicatory process was fair. The failure to disclose exculpatory evidence has been characterized as “epidemic” and has been documented to have made a major, outsized contribution in cases that resulted in exonerations. It is not surprising, then, that conviction integrity units in prosecutor’s offices (CIUs)—departments or bureaus created to entertain claims of wrongful conviction—often must confront allegations of such wrongdoing by trial prosecutors who work or have worked in their own offices. This Article analyzes the CIU investigation and review processes and the complications they present and explores the ethical obligations of a CIU that concludes that a Brady violation has occurred.
Lissa Griffin & Daisy Mason,
The Prosecutor in the Mirror: Conviction Integrity Units and Brady Claims,
55 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1005
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/llr/vol55/iss4/2