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A Brady Primer: John Leo Brady – The Defense Lawyer's Best Friend

By Denis deVlaming

The holding in Brady v. Maryland1 has been the law since 1963, and yet it is incredibly underutilized by the defense bar throughout the United States. The decisions in Brady, United States v. Bagley,2 and Kyles v. Whitley3 have predominately dictated the requirements of the prosecution to turn over all materials that include the following: (1) information that would exonerate the accused; (2) exculpatory information; (3) information that would lessen the punishment; (4) all material impeachment of the government’s evidence or witnesses; and (5) any evidence that would support a valid defense. But the defense must ask for it.

What Happened in Brady?

The facts in Brady are worthy of discussion. John Leo Brady was on trial for first-degree murder in the state of Maryland. His lawyer conceded guilt (as the evidence was overwhelming) but sought to save him from capital punishment. He was charged with a co-defendant named Charles Boblit. Brady was found guilty and sentenced to death. After the

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