Berkshire DA’s Office Adopts Brady Policy
The Office of Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington has implemented another justice reform initiative this week as part of the office’s ongoing commitment to promoting public trust in law enforcement.
The Office has adopted a formal Brady Policy detailing requirement for prosecutors in disclosing potentially exculpatory evidence to defense counsel. Brady Policies are recognized across the nation as a best practice to safeguard the integrity of convictions, prevent false imprisonment, build trust in the justice system, and uphold due process rights.
I promised the voters that I would work to make Berkshire County a model of fair criminal justice practices. Adopting and following clear prosecution policies are integral to fulfilling that promise ~ District Attorney Andrea Harrington
Harrington said in a press release issues on Tuesday, that her office office appreciates the immense power law enforcement wields over the lives of people throughout our community.
This policy will ensure we prosecutors hold ourselves to the highest standards of professional ethics while creating a uniform process across the county, and setting clear expectations with our partners in law enforcement.
The 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brady v Maryland is the seminal case requiring prosecutors to turn evidence favorable to the accused over to the defense. Favorable evidence includes information useful for the defense in cross-examining prosecution witnesses including police officers and expert witnesses.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is requesting criminal justice agencies to provide findings of dishonesty, bias, racial profiling, malicious harassment, pending criminal charges, or failure to pass proficiency exams for any potential witnesses.