Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Giglio v. United States case brief

Giglio v. United States case brief summary
405 U.S. 150 (1972)

Defendant appealed a judgment from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming the district court's denial of defendant's motion for a new trial following a conviction for passing forged money orders.

Defense counsel asked a witness on cross-examination if any promises of leniency had been made, and the witness falsely answered no. The prosecution represented that no such promises had been made. Upon learning that a promise not to prosecute the witness had in fact been made, defendant moved for a new trial based upon the newly discovered evidence. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's denial of the motion.


  • On certiorari, the Court reversed and remanded because the prosecution's failure to disclose the promise of leniency to the witness was an issue affecting credibility, which was therefore material. 
  • The suppression of material evidence violated due process and warranted a new trial whether it resulted from the prosecution's negligence or deliberate deception.

The Court reversed the appellate court's judgment and the trial court's conviction of defendant and remanded the case for a new trial.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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