Public Demand for Transparency
In the wake of the heinous death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the American public has made its opinion known about their demand for police accountability and transparency. Millions have taken to the streets around the world in an effort to help make change in how police interactions with people are handled. Police brutality and accountability are at the top of the list for proposed changes to the system as a whole. It is currently an incredibly high burden to charge police criminally, as well as sue them in civil court for money damages for their harmful conduct and behavior. In response to this outcry, some police departments and prosecutors’ offices have looked to make change in policies that are unfair to the public at large. One such program that was in place before the George Floyd murder was the Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit, which has re-opened old cases where there was questionable evidence due to alleged police misconduct. This department has helped secure the release of a number of people who were wrongly convicted and have been sitting in prison for crimes they did not commit. The success of this program has led Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy towards other programs aimed at showing transparency within Wayne County and its police agencies.
Wayne County Program
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has plans to publicly release the names of officers that are deemed to be untruthful on a regular basis. The list, known as the “Giglio-Brady List” contains names of officers from various Wayne County police departments, many of which who are already in prison or have been convicted for offenses involving dishonesty. Police officers who have been convicted of offenses involving dishonesty are known as “Giglio-impaired.” This is due to a case that made it to the United States Supreme Court, Giglio v. United States, where the Supreme Court granted Giglio a new trial due to the untruthfulness of an officer involved on the case. The second name in the title of the list, Brady, comes from a landmark case that requires prosecutors to turn over any and all exculpatory evidence to defense attorneys in any applicable case. Detroit Police Chief James Craig has voiced support for the continued release of Giglio-Brady lists to public. Unfortunately, the list mostly appears to name officers who are either dead, in prison, or retired. These are officers that would not testify in any case in the future since they aren’t even on the police force anymore.
While other prosecutor’s offices have faced increasing pressure to follow the example set by Wayne County, they have been slow to make change. Resistance to this change has come from those who feel that the process to end up on such a list is arbitrary. Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green complained that he was unfairly added to such a list in Ingham County 20 years ago for an alleged excessive use of force in helping hold a medical patient/suspect down on a gurney. Green did not file a “use of force” form because he did not feel that holding the person down on the gurney was an act of force. While this claim can be argued on both sides, it is exactly this type of transparency that the public is now vocally demanding.
Any Further Questions?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or being investigated for one, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.