Prosecutors Duty in the District of Columbia

Mark Rollins Criminal Law

prosecutor obligation in dc

Prosecutor duty is to seek Justice.  In the District of Columbia – 2 prosecutor entities, US Attorney and Attorney General

Prosecutor Duty is to seek Justice

Sometimes people think that a prosecutor job is to lock the individual up or win the criminal case.  Yes, it is human nature for anyone to want to win; however, when it comes to prosecutors there first duty is to make sure justice is served.

Therefore, it is the trial prosecutor’s duty to learn of Brady information and to disclose to the criminal defense lawyer.    Hmm, so you are asking yourself what is Brady information.   Brady is a United States Supreme Court case cited as Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) that held that prosecutor on a criminal case must disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the government’s possession.

Criminal Defense Lawyers in the District of Columbia

In the District of Columbia criminal defense lawyers must know that is it is the trial prosecutor’s duty to learn of Brady information.   However, the criminal defense lawyer should make a timely demand for Brady evidence in a case.  Once the criminal lawyer makes a Brady request, the government becomes obligated to turn over evidence even if prosecutor believes that the criminal defense attorney could have found out the information by investigating the case.   Remember, a prosecutor’s Brady disclosure obligation is not limited to information of which a prosecutor has actual knowledge.  It also includes a nondelegable “duty to learn of” Brady information in the case.  Kyles v. Whitley :: 514 U.S. 419, 437 (1995)

The police are part of the prosecution team

The prosecutor has a duty to ask police whether material evidence exist that will exculpate the defendant.  SeeBarbee v. Maryland, 331 F.2d 842, 846 (4th Cir. 1964)  Furthermore, it really does not matter whether the failure to disclose was negligent or purposeful.

Traffic, Misdemeanor, Felony in the District of Columbia

It does not matter whether you are charged with a traffic, misdemeanor of felony – the prosecutors have the same obligation.   Want more information on this issue, give us a call.

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