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Appellant's Brief - Florida State University College of Law

Appellant's Brief - Florida State University College of Law

Crime lab stated that

Crime lab stated that the window had to be all down but subject claimed window was half down for security. The State could not explain its failure to disclose this information that was inconsistent with the assumption made by the blood-spatter expert and the gun-powder residue expert that the window was down three inches. Ms. Sreenan argued that “somebody made a mistake...I would say that report is wrong” (PC-R. 4718). “The author of that report didn’t always have all the facts straight” (PC-R. 4737). 85 The State admitted at the 1996 evidentiary hearing that the reports would have been favorable to the defense. 86 Judge Gold held that the redacted portions of Detective Trujillo’s report were improperly withheld by the State (PC-R. 6067). But he failed to find that the nondisclosure undermined confidence in the reliability of the jury’s verdict, in light of Smykowski’s trial testimony. 85 Under Kyles, evidence impeaching the law enforcement’s techniques is exculpatory. Ms. Sreenan’s statement impeaching the reliability of the law enforcement investigation and the techniques of the police officers involved constituted evidence favorable to the defense. Either way, the undisclosed information impeached the State’s case. 86 Even the lead prosecutor at trial acknowledged in his testimony that defense counsel could have used the undisclosed information to rebut the State’s contention that the lead particle gun residue on Mr. Riechmann came from reaching his hand protectively at the muzzle of the gun instead of the breach. 94

Judge Bagley failed to mention the nondisclosure in his order denying relief. Without mentioning this Brady violation, Judge Bagley did not conduct the requisite evaluation of the cumulative effect of withheld favorable evidence. c. Police reports of Detective Hanlon Three police reports of Detective Hanlon were not disclosed to the defense. These reports showed that the State’s expert, upon his examination of the rental car, found that “the passenger window was no more than six inches from being fully closed at the time of the shooting,” not the 3 to 3 and a half inches he testified to at deposition and trial (PC-R. Def. Ex. HHH). 87 Thus, these reports contained potential impeachment. DiGregory acknowledged at the 1996 evidentiary hearing that there were deletions from the police reports, but he did not know who made them -- himself, Ms. Sreenan or someone at his direction. He agreed that the police reports contradicted each other (PC-R. 5477, 5482, 5483). The redactions kept defense counsel from knowing about the internal inconsistencies in the forensic blood work and the faulty 87 The same six-inch measurement taken by the state serologist was repeated in two other withheld police reports. 95

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