August 16th—Police -Exculpatory Evidence- Wrongful Conviction Liability
Speaker: Jack Ryan
Over the last two decades, law enforcement has become increasingly aware of how a failure to produce exculpatory evidence to a defendant facing trial may impact a conviction of the defendant. Through a number of cases, law enforcement is well aware that the failure to notify the prosecutor that exculpatory evidence exists may not only impact the conviction of the defendant but may also lead to civil liability for the investigators and the agency.
This session focuses on the foundation cases that created a prosecutorial duty to turn over exculpatory evidence to the defendant or face consequences including the dismissal of criminal charges. Over the last two decades, law enforcement has been held liable for this Constitutional obligation of prosecutors when a failure of law enforcement to turn over exculpatory evidence has led to a wrongful conviction.
In the 2016-2017 term, the United States Supreme Court provided further detail to the requirements of Brady in Turner v. United States. Turner and the details of the materiality requirement will be discussed.
The main objective of this session is to discuss the liability of municipal law enforcement officers and municipalities when there is a Brady violation as well as the obligation of municipalities to make the prosecutor aware of officers who have a personnel history that may impact their credibility as a witness. Strategies for avoiding these liabilities will also be offered for consideration.
Jack Ryan is a retired captain of the Providence Police Department in Rhode Island. Jack went to Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts where he studied under the tutelage of well-known section 1983 Professor of Law, Karen Blum. Over the last 20 years Jack has continued his study of section 1983 as it relates to law enforcement liability. Jack provides training to law enforcement as well as attorneys throughout the United States with respect to this rapidly evolving area of governmental law. Jack also provides consultation, largely as a law enforcement practices consultant to attorneys throughout the United States. Through Jack’s role as the Co-Director of the Legal and Liability Risk Management Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana, Jack provides policy research and writing services as well as auditing services and consultation to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. Jack has been published in numerous articles and manuals written for law enforcement throughout the country.