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Breaking Legal Developments

03-04-2002

Published by:
Peter A. Lynch, Esq.
of Cozen O'Connor
palynch@cozen.com
http://www.cozen.com

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:      This weekly newsletter covers:

  1. Ninth Circuit Finds Brady Violation Related to Arson Allegation


(1) NINTH CIRCUIT FINDS BRADY VIOLATION RELATED TO ARSON ALLEGATION

In Benn v. Lambert (pdf Format) (No. 00-99014) (Feb. 26, 2002), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a finding that the state trial of the defendant was flawed for withholding impeachment evidence from the defendant. Defendant was convicted of murder. Some testimony was introduced to show a motive related to a claim of arson for profit. However, the prosecution withheld information that suggested that fire was electrically caused and not arson at all.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was reviewing a finding that held the failure to turn over that impeachment evidence was error. The court agreed

Noting the prosecution had failed to provide evidence that a deputy fire marshal and electrical inspector concluded the fire was accidental. The court affirmed finding the failure to turn over this material and other issues was error.

Mr. Lynch can be reached at Cozen and O'Connor, 501 West Broadway, Suite 1610, San Diego, California 92101, 800-782-3366 (voice), 619-234-7831 (fax), palynch@cozen.com (e-mail), http://www.cozen.com. Follow us on Twitter at @firesandrain.

Please direct comments, suggestions, stories, and other items to the author by e-mail at palynch@cozen.com

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