The Brady Rule Regarding Exculpatory Evidence

John Doe has been charged with the crime of murder. The State plans on calling a number of witnesses. There are three witnesses claiming to have seen him in the passenger seat of an automobile, with license plate no. L-477632, roll the window down and fire three gunshots at a young man walking down a sidewalk. That man died instantly and the witnesses will all describe the car driving off at an extremely high rate of speed. One of the witnesses says he knows John from high school while the other two had never seen him before but picked him out of a photo lineup. The final piece of evidence was a statement John made to a witness the day before the shooting that the victim had cheated him out of a lot of money and would “pay for it dearly.”
John offers an alibi in the trial that he was at home taking care of his brother who had just been injured in a car accident. Although he is the only person to testify as to the alibi, he does offer medical records that his brother had recently been injured in such an accident.
After John is convicted and sentenced, he discovers through his attorneys the following information in the State’s files:
(1) One of the eyewitnesses who claims to know John from high school is receiving probation for a pending robbery charge in exchange for his testimony;
(2) The officer who showed the two witnesses the photo spread had, unbeknownst to John, just broken up with John’s mother after a bitter fight; and
(3) The car with the described license plate belonged to John’s cousin’s who told the police that the car had been having fuel pump problems and could seldom be driven at more than 25 miles an hour.
None of the above information was provided by the prosecutors to John’s attorneys prior to trial and John is arguing on appeal that these non-disclosed pieces of evidence violate his Constitutional rights to Due Process and he should be granted a new trial. The State strenuously opposes the Motion.
You are the appeals court judge and your task in this paper is to render an opinion on John’s Motion for a new trial based on his argument that the non-disclosed evidence represents a Constitutional violation.

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