United States v. Payano

Brief of Amici Curiae American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Opposition to Government’s Motion for Reconsideration.

Brief filed: 12/21/2017


United States v. Payano

E.D. Pa.; Case No. 2:17-cr-00238-RBS (Crim. No. 17-238)


The government ignores the public interest in transparency about police misconduct. The government makes no attempt to meet the stringent standard for hiding from the public information illuminating one of the most fraught issues of our day: the role of racial prejudice and false testimony in the criminal justice system. Hiding this Court’s conclusions about Trooper Fleischer would not change the government’s Giglio obligations, but it would make enforcement of those obligations more difficult for defendants. The government wants this Court to whitewash its conclusions about racial motivation and false testimony in order to shield Trooper Fleisher from future cross examination about them. The government’s position threatens the due administration of justice. Law enforcement witnesses are entitled to no special treatment in our court system. Courts make credibility findings every day that may devastate the careers, relationships, and futures of thousands of people.

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Lisa A. Mathewson, Law Offices of Lisa A. Mathewson, LLC, Philadelphia, PA; Mary Catherine Roper, ACLU of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.