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NCJ Number: 115464 Find in a Library
Title: Good Faith, Bad Evidence
Journal: ABA (American Bar Association) Journal  Dated:(February 1989)  Pages:48,50,52,54
Author(s): P Reidinger
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article summarizes U.S. Supreme Court decisions for the 1988 term, most notably the decision in Arizona v. Youngblood, which pertains to the State's legal responsibility to preserve potentially exculpatory evidence.
Abstract: In Arizona v. Youngblood, the justices held, in a 6-3 opinion by Chief Justice Rehnquist, that the police's good-faith failure to preserve potentially exculpatory evidence did not amount to a denial of due process. In this case, the police failed to preserve semen-stain evidence in a sexual-assault case. Absent such evidence, the defendant Youngblood was convicted only on evidence of the victim's identification. Justice Blackmun's dissent, joined by Justices Brennan and Marshall, argued that Youngblood 'was denied the opportunity to present a full defense' because of the mishandled evidence. Frank Remington, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin and an expert on criminal procedure reasons that the Court should have rejected the 'good faith' test and its inherent subjectivity in favor of a more objective measure of the police's handling of evidence. In Penson v. Ohio, the appeals court failed to appoint a new counsel after the court granted Penson's attorney's request to be excused from the case. The U.S. Supreme Court held that based on 'Anders,' and indigent defendant is entitled to be represented by counsel on appeal despite appointed counsel's 'conclusory statement . . . that the case has no merit and that he will file no brief.'
Main Term(s): US Supreme Court decisions
Index Term(s): Appeal procedures; Evidence preservation; Right to counsel; Right to Due Process
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