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Law, Evidence & Ethics Case

Suppose that the police-involved shooting incident described in Missouri v. Stockley was tried by jury in Washington, DC., and in New York City
• Suppose that both juries heard the same evidence that was presented at the actual trial.
• Suppose the juries convicted Officer Stockley of the murder of Anthony Smith.
• Suppose that the juries were concerned about the same two issues as the judge in Missouri, and were interested in the same items of evidence:

1) Officer Stockley’s partially audible statement over the police radio 45 seconds before the chase ended;
2) The source of the gun that was allegedly found near Anthony Smith’s dead body.

• Suppose Officer Stockley was sentenced to life imprisonment. Two years after Stockley began serving his sentence, there was a major advance in audio technology that permitted audio technicians to recover Officer Stockley’s entire statement. (Verdict, p. 5 footnote 6)

Instead of a partial statement, “. . . we’re killing this motherfucker, don’t you know . . .” the actual full statement was: “If he goes for his gun, we’re killing this motherfucker, don’t you know he will shoot us There was also a major advance in DNA identification technology that now allows Dr. Karen Preiter to testify that the gun had traces of DNA on it from two other people beside Jason Stockley. (Verdict p. 12).

Based upon the discovery of these two items of new evidence, Officer Stockley has moved to set aside the verdict, and to receive a new trial. Drawing on your knowledge of the law of materiality as elaborated by the US Supreme Court and the NY law of evidence, make the case for and against setting aside the verdict in Washington, DC, and in New York City.

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