Sunday, February 8, 2009

Whose Guilt?

"Now I'm asking you to feel sorry for Assistant Attorney General Catherine Hayes. It was [Gena] Bunn's job, I wrote, to go 'with a straight face' before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of death row inmate Delma Banks 'and argue that the state of Texas should be able to suborn perjury and hide evidence with impunity in its quest to get the death penalty.' She had to admit that prosecutors had stood silent while two key witnesses lied under oath during Banks' two-day trial in 1980 for the murder of a 16-year-old co-worker. ... She argued that defense attorneys had waited too long to raise the issue, even though the delay was caused by the prosecutors' cover-up of the evidence. ... 'Wasn't it the obligation of the prosecution, having deceived the jury and the court to come clean?' asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 'So the prosecution can lie and conceal evidence and the defense has the burden to discover the evidence?' challenged Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. ... It took that body--including archconservatives Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas--just 10 weeks to issue a stinging slap to the state of Texas and to the 5th Circuit. ... Having hidden the damning transcript for 16 years, prosecutors are saying defense attorneys aren't playing fair", Rick Casey at the Houston Chronicle, 7 January 2009, link:
Only in "Alice's" world of law could this happen. Prosecutors must give defense attorneys exculpatory evidence ever since Brady v. Maryland, 373 US 83 (1963). What don't these legal clowns know? Texas's position is laughable. I am agnostic on Banks' guilt, but it is clear he's entitled to a new trial.

No comments: