Chauvin Trial: Prosecution Withholds Evidence From Defense
by Shari Dovale
After watching multiple Federal criminal trials, we have seen repeated cases of prosecutors pulling shenanigans on the defense in order to win their cases at any cost. These scheming prosecutors are not concerned with defendants rights, the Constitution or even Due Process.
The multiple Bunkerville cases in Las Vegas are a prime example of the unethical and illegal tricks perpetrated by the prosecution. These games led to the cases being thrown out of court by the very judge that was doing everything in her power to assist the prosecution in their misdeeds.
Because of the history of these unethical prosecutors, there were rulings put into place to protect the defense from these shady tactics. Decided through Brady v. Maryland, it requires prosecutors to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the government’s possession to the defense.
A “Brady material” or evidence the prosecutor is required to disclose under this rule includes any evidence favorable to the accused–evidence that goes towards negating a defendant’s guilt, that would reduce a defendant’s potential sentence, or evidence going to the credibility of a witness.
If the prosecution does not disclose material exculpatory evidence under this rule, and prejudice has ensued, the evidence will be suppressed. The evidence will be suppressed regardless of whether the prosecutor knew the evidence was in his or her possession, or whether or not the prosecutor intentionally or inadvertently withheld the evidence from the defense.
It seems fairly simple to understand, and should not be a problem with which to comply. However, as already pointed out, these prosecutors are only concerned with their securing the conviction.
There are virtually no consequences to prosecutors that knowingly violate the Brady Rule, as is evidenced by AUSA Steven Myhre in the Bunkerville Trials. That was not his first go-around with violating the Brady Rule. Myhre was also held to task during the case of US v. Chapman.
But, as in the Bunkerville Standoff trial, this case lead to a mistrial due to the prosecution ~ headed by Steven Myhre ~ not disclosing vital exculpatory evidence.
During the mistrial hearing, Chapman’s attorney alerted the court to hundreds of pages of documents that the government had delivered that morning and the previous evening. They totaled some 650 pages and consisted of rap sheets, plea agreements, cooperation agreements, and other information related to numerous government witnesses, including at least three important witnesses whose testimony was already complete.
This case resulted in a dismissal with prejudice. The government prosecutors ~ headed by Steven Myhre ~ attempted to appeal this decision. The appellate court upheld the ruling and stated clearly:
This is prosecutorial misconduct in its highest form; conduct in flagrant disregard of the United States Constitution; and conduct which should be deterred by the strongest sanction available.
But the “ strongest sanction available” was not much, and threats do not bother Steven Myhre. He had virtually NO Consequences, therefore felt it acceptable to play his dirty little games again.
These rogue prosecutors are not really few and far between. Many jurisdictions have people that will push the envelope and blame it on the defense for not “catching” them at it.
We currently have what appears to be another Brady violation in progress in Minnesota. The high-profile case of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, charged in connection with the in-custody death of George Floyd.
The prosecution is trying to get testimony into evidence of a “Blood Gas” test. The problem is that they have rested their case and want to have their “expert” witness testify as a rebuttal witness.
The defense was not informed of this report and the prosecution claims that, though the report has been in existence since the night of Floyd’s death, the prosecution is calling it “Newly Discovered Evidence” and claiming they did not receive it until yesterday.
The Judge did sustain the defense’s objections, however, the prosecution doctor was allowed to testify on other issues. That just opened the door for the doctor to talk about the report anyway.
RedState.com has an excellent report on the entire issue with the case. They tell us, in part:
Judge Cahill warned the prosecution that even if Dr. Tobin’s testimony “hints at” the existence of the testing results the prosecution would be at serious risk of having a mistrial declared.
The prosecutor asked about one part of the Fowler report which said it was possible that Floyd’s CO level in his blood could have been as high as 15-18% — meaning it was the presence of CO in his blood and not the actions of Chauvin and the officers that led to the “low oxygen” level that killed Floyd.
Dr. Tobin testified that he disagreed with that opinion.
The prosecutor then asked, “Why?”
AND JUST LIKE THAT DR. TOBIN TESTIFIED HE DISAGREED BECAUSE OF THE TEST RESULTS DONE AT THE HOSPITAL THAT MEASURED THE CO RATES IN FLOYD’S BLOOD.
This has every appearance of a blatant Brady violation. If the judge does not declare a mistrial, it will be a gross miscarriage of justice.
As we have said before, if the law was broken and there is enough evidence to bring it to trial, then let the truth stand on it’s own merits. If the prosecutors needed to lie, or cheat, then there was not a case to begin with and this is all a farce.
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