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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Prosecution Withheld Evidence From Defense

Westlaw Journal Corporate Officers & Directors Liability

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High court won't hear Rigases' evidence suppression case

Westlaw News & Insight

The U.S. Supreme Court has rebuffed a bid by ex-Adelphia Communications Corp. officers John Rigas and his son Timothy to overturn their lengthy prison sentences for defrauding investors by "systematically looting" their now-bankrupt cable television company.

Adelphia’s founder/CEO and its former CFO failed to convince the high court to review their appeal and decide whether federal prosecutors violated their rights under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), by withholding evidence in their case.

Under Brady, the government has a Fifth Amendment due-process obligation to turn over material evidence in its possession to the defense.

However, federal and state appellate courts have split over the scope and application of that decision, and the Rigases unsuccessfully argued that the Supreme Court should use this appeal as the occasion to settle that dispute. More...