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Blankenship v. United States
Brief of Amicus Curiae for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Petitioner.
Argument: This case raises a question of fundamental importance to our criminal justice system. The circuits are split down the middle with respect to whether Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and its progeny impose affirmative obligations on criminal defendants to seek out exculpatory evidence from other sources even when the government already possesses the evidence in question. This dispute has created uncertainty about the scope of Brady's protections and has imposed investigatory obligations on some criminal defendants while imposing no such obligations on others. And it raises fundamental questions about the nature of our criminal justice system and the Constitution more broadly. These questions deserve this Court's immediate attention.
Faulkner and Smith v. Maryland
Brief for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Appellants.
Argument: The courts below committed legal error in not considering the State’s affirmative obligations to disclose exculpatory evidence. The State’s duty to disclose exculpatory information necessarily informs defense counsel’s diligence obligations. The defense was entitled to rely on the State’s open-file policy. The Circuit Court abused its discretion by not considering some of the most probative evidence regarding defense counsel’s diligence in regards to the Keene Statement.