While district attorney for San Francisco, Kamala Harris withheld evidence that could have exonerated defendants on multiple occasions, in violation of a key due process ruling by the Supreme Court.
Between 2004 and 2010, Harris’s office failed to inform defense attorneys about criminal and professional misconduct records that raised questions about the credibility of government witnesses. The lapses led to the dismissal of nearly 1,000 cases and a scathing 2010 ruling by a Superior Court judge that accused Harris’ office of breaching due process rights.
Legal scholars told the Washington Examiner that Harris’ office appeared to have violated the Supreme Court’s 1963 Brady v. Maryland decision. The ruling held that prosecutors must turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense.
There is a “clear causal link between Brady violations and wrongful conviction” said Craig Trainor, a New York attorney who specializes in due process cases.