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By Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC posted in Discovery on Wednesday, April 17, 2013
'Discovery' is the disclosure of evidence that will be used against the accused at trial or may be used by the accused to defend themselves.
By ** Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini**, Criminal Lawyer, Harrisburg, PA
In Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), the United State Supreme Court held that a criminal defendant has a constitutional right to obtain evidence that is exculpatory in nature. Any evidence that tends to show that the accused did not commit the crime(s) charged, must be disclosed by the Commonwealth. To demonstrate a Brady violation, Appellant must show that: (1) the prosecution concealed evidence; (2) which was either exculpatory evidence or impeachment evidence favorable to him; and (3) he was prejudiced by the concealment. To show prejudice, he must demonstrate a "reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed to the defense, the result of the proceeding would have been different." Com v. R. Simpson, 493 CAP (PA Supreme Court, March 26, 2013).
Rule 573 embodies the requirements of Brady:
What's mandatory on the part of the Commonwealth?