Banks v. Dretke

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In Banks v. Dretke, 124 S. Ct. 1256 (2004), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a denial of a petition for habeas corpus because the defendants suffered from the concealment of exculpatory Brady material and perjured testimony by government witnesses, and sought relief on that basis.

The Court reiterated its holding in Kyles v. Whitley that “the materiality standard for Brady claims is met when ‘the favorable evidence could reasonably be taken to put the whole case in such a different light as to undermine confidence in the verdict.’” Id. at 1276 (quoting Kyles, 514 U.S. 419, 435 (1995)). “‘A defendant need not demonstrate that after discounting the inculpatory evidence in light of the undisclosed evidence, there would not have been enough left to convict.’” 124 S. Ct. at 1276 (quoting Kyles, 514 U.S. at 434-435).

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion of the court, joined by Justices William Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, and Stephen Breyer, and joined in part by justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas (joined by Justice Scalia) filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

External Links

  • Case at FindLaw (registration may be required)
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