The Brady Rule

Wikipedia: Brady Disclosure

In the legal system of the United States, a Brady disclosure consists of exculpatory or impeaching information and evidence that is material to the guilt or innocence or to the punishment of a defendant. The term comes from the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland,[1] in which the Supreme Court ruled that suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to a defendant who has requested it violates due process.

Following Brady, the prosecutor must disclose evidence or information that would prove the innocence of the defendant or would enable the defense to more effectively impeach the credibility of government witnesses. Evidence that would serve to reduce the defendant’s sentence must also be disclosed by the prosecution. In practice this doctrine has often proved difficult to enforce. Some states have established their own laws to try to strengthen enforcement against prosecutorial misconduct in this area.

Definition of the Brady rule

The Brady doctrine is a pretrial discovery rule that was established by the United States Supreme Court in Brady v. Maryland (1963).[2] The rule requires that the prosecution must turn over all exculpatory evidence to the defendant in a criminal case. Exculpatory evidence is evidence that might exonerate the defendant.[3]

Discovery for Meadows Fire

For Ron Makin, there has been no complete, untampered discovery as mandated by law, and no speedy trial. In law, discovery is the compulsory disclosure to the opposing party of relevant and factual information, documents, recordings, etc., especially of evidence that is favorable to the defendant. This discovery obligation was formally requested four months from the event and has yet to be entirely satisfied.

The 14th Amendment as elucidated by the Supreme Court in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) requires prosecutors to disclose all evidence in the government’s possession to the defense, which may be material to the accused’s guilt or punishment. “In cases subsequent to Brady, the Supreme Court has eliminated the requirement for a defendant to have requested favorable information, stating that the prosecution has a constitutional duty to disclose, which is triggered by the potential impact of favorable but undisclosed evidence See Kyles v. Whitley 514 U.S. 419, 434 (1955); United States. v. Bagley, 473 U.S. 667 (1985).”

J.C. Cooper

The Prosecution has failed to deliver all discoveries or proof of guilt. Among other things, there has been no evidence provided to Defense to show that Ron Makin was around the building when the fire started. Nearly all of Ron’s constitutional and civil rights were violated by law enforcement agents.

Though all exculpatory and (alleged) incriminating evidence was requested by and implicitly, legally due for the Defense immediately (< 14 days), even the deliberately incomplete surveillance video package—deficient of multiple crucial videos relevant to the case, including video of the person(s) who carried and spilled the flammable liquid in the fire area between 10:07-11:47pm and the subsequent, apparently accidental ignition—was not provided by the Prosecution for many months after the fact.

Prosecution has provided no indoor or outdoor building surveillance footage of Ron, or anyone, approaching the fire area (the north hallway and descending stairs, where the fire would later occur) between 10:07 pm (just after Ron entered and left the area, as proven by a 10:10 video of Ron re-entering the building’s main door at the ground floor), and 11:47pm, 1 hour 40 minutes later, when the fire alarm activated. How could Ron—or anyone, arsonist or not—manage to be so successful so as to not be caught by any surveillance cameras or witnesses in the area of the fire—with or without a container for a flammable liquid—around the time of ignition, yet still be fingered as “the arsonist” of the fire?

Ron was charged, by the Prosecuting attorney, with obstruction of justice for not being able to tell them the address of the man who gave him the gas can. The Judge was trying to pressure Ron to accept a plea bargain. They are desperately floundering for a way to indict Ron simply to cover up their error and liability for arresting an innocent man.

A statement provided by the Prosecution to the Defense at court, approximately a year into the court processes: “The partial forensic report is insufficient to make any determination with regard to the quantity/proportions of the alleged accelerant(s).” In English, there was no gasoline indicated in this fire.


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