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ARDC Brings Case Against Prosecutor for Failing to Disclose That Witness Changed His Story


This is a rare case where a prosecutor is being accused of wrongdoing for failing to disclose that a witness changed his story and for allegedly misleading the court about the witness’ testimony.

What is odd about the case is that the ARDC chose this prosecutorial misconduct case to prosecute. This appears to be the first such case brought by the ARDC.

From my review of the facts, the case is not exactly ironclad. The key witness against the prosecutor will the witness who changed his story in the underlying criminal matter. What is alleged is essentially a Brady violation – the failure to tell a criminal defendant about exculpatory evidence. Since there have been so many Brady violations in Illinois (and concerning matters far more serious than this case), I don’t understand why this was chosen as the test case for this area. Basically, a witness implicated someone in a home invasion case, then retracted his testimony later. The Prosecutor may have failed to disclose the retraction to the defense. The problem with this alleged Brady violation is that the information came out during the trial anyway (during cross-examination by defense counsel) and the defendant was acquitted by the jury.

The ARDC will be lucky to win this case. Obviously the allegations are disputed and no one should assume that they are true until a finder of fact has made a decision. Again, this case was an odd choice for the first Brady violation claim against an Illinois prosecutor.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

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