Author Archive | Kendra Hutchinson

Friday, August 19th, 2022

Panel holds, over dissent, that non-disclosure of 5,000 pages of complainant’s psychiatric records is not an unreasonable application of Brady

The 2010 New York trial at issue in McCray v. Capra, 18-2336 (2d Cir. Aug. 17, 2022), an appeal of a state habeas corpus denial, was a pure credibility contest: the complainant testified she was violently raped; McCray testified the encounter was consensual but the two struggled afterward when she tried to steal from him; and both parties had injuries.

Prior to trial, however, and as often occurs in New York, after the prosecution disclosed the complainant’s psychiatric history, the trial judge examined her mental health records in camera for Brady material. Although there were over 5,000 pages of records, the judge only turned over 28 pages to the defense. McCray’s ensuing first-degree rape conviction was affirmed in the Appellate Division and New York Court of Appeals, both of which were closely-divided on the Brady non-disclosure issue he raised.

On appeal of the denial of McCray’s N.D.N.Y. habeas

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Monday, April 25th, 2022

Circuit affirms denial of Rule 33 motion on Brady grounds, finding lack of prejudice, but expresses “skepticism” that DOJ’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section was not “part of the prosecution team” in “unusual case”

When multiple law enforcement agencies or subdivisions are involved in a case, who is “part of the prosecution team” for Brady purposes? In United States v. Hunter, Nos. 18-3074, 18-3489, & 19-790 (2d Cir. Apr. 20, 2022) (C.J.J. Cabranes, Raggi, and Korman (sitting by designation)), the Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Rule 33 motions following belated disclosure of exculpatory information, relying on a different Brady prong. Nevertheless, in dicta, it explored this challenging question.

The case came before the Court with a torturous and troubling procedural history. The co-defendants were convicted in SDNY in April 2018, following a joint jury trial, of various murder-for-hire, conspiracy, § 924(j), and money laundering counts, based on allegations that they were part of a transnational criminal organization. The boss of this organization was cooperating witness Paul LeRoux, who had been nabbed by the DEA in Liberia in 2012. “The scale and …


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