What is “Brady” Material?

Brady material is any information which may help a Torrance criminal defendant in a case, the district attorney must turn over any material evidence that can help exonerate an accused person. The definition of “material evidence” is generally provided in the context of an appeal from a conviction. Evidence is material if there is a reasonable probability that the result of the proceeding would have been different had the evidence been disclosed. A reasonable probability of a different outcome is shown where suppression undermines confidence in the outcome. Such evidence must have a specific, plausible connection to the case, and must demonstrate more than minor inaccuracies. However, prosecutors must determine what Brady evidence there may be before trial.

Prosecutors are required to disclose to the defense evidence favorable to a defendant that is either exculpatory or impeaching and is material to either guilt or punishment. Evidence is “favorable” to the defendant if it either helps the defendant or hurts the prosecution. In Strickler v. Greene (1999) 527 U.S. 263, 280, the United States Supreme Court stated: In Brady this Court held “that the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution.” Brady v. Maryland, supra, 373 U.S., at 87. We have since held that the duty to disclose such evidence is applicable even though there has been no request by the accused, (United States v. Agurs , supra, 427 U.S. at p. 107.), and that the duty encompasses impeachment evidence as well as exculpatory evidence, [United States v. Bagley (1985) 473 U.S. 667,676]. Such evidence is material “if there is a reasonable probability that had the evidence been disclosed to the defense, the result of the proceeding would have been different.”

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty five years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV regarding license suspension hearings stemming from drunk driving arrests.
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