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State v. Petty

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

May 22, 2014

STATE OF DELAWARE
v.
LEVAL PETTY, Defendant.

On Defendant's Motion to Compel the Production of Discovery and Brady Information

Christopher S. Koyste, Esquire, Joseph S. Grubb, Esquire

ORDER

Mary M. Johnston Judge

Defendant Leval Petty has moved to compel the production of discovery and/or Brady[1] material in relation to claims to be raised in his Amended Motion for Post conviction Relief. Defendant has requested that the Court order the production of three categories of information:

1. Information and notes of statements made by Kaci Moore;
2. All Brady, Giglio, [2] and Roviaro[3] materials in relation to lay witnesses and their prior statements; and
3. All versions of Detective Watson and Corporal Bolden's police reports.

The State opposes Defendant's Motion. The parties have provided the Court with legal argument.

In the context of post conviction proceedings, the Court has the inherent discretionary authority under Rule 61[4] to grant particularized discovery. A Rule 61 petitioner must demonstrate good cause.[5] Good cause is established "where specific allegations before the court show reason to believe that the petitioner may, if the facts are fully developed, be able to demonstrate that [defendant is] entitled to relief."[6] Speculative claims of necessity and relevance are not sufficient. Defendant is "not entitled to go on a fishing expedition through the government's files in hopes of finding some damaging evidence."[7] Post conviction discovery requests will not be approved for the purpose of permitting Defendant to conduct an investigation that might elicit evidence different from that produced at trial. An inconsistent statement is not necessarily Brady material. The Court will not order production merely because the materials may potentially permit arguments that defense counsel may view as strategically beneficial at this stage in the proceedings.

The Court has considered the parties' submissions, and has reviewed the relevant portions of the record. The Court makes the following rulings.

1. Information and notes of statements made by Kaci Moore.

All Brady material, not previously provided to Defendant, must be produced. If there is no additional exculpatory material in the State's possession, the State must affirmatively so inform Defendant's counsel.

2. All Brady, Giglio, and Roviaro materials in relation to lay witnesses and their prior statements.

The State has represented that it has provided all materials encompassed by this request, as required by Bagley.[8]

3. All versions of Detective Watson and Corporal Bolden's police reports.

All Brady material, not previously provided to Defendant, must be produced. If there is no additional exculpatory material in the State's possession, the State must affirmatively so inform Defendant's counsel. Further, Defendant has failed to present specific allegations that would demonstrate good cause for production of draft police reports on the basis that other versions may have been altered to delete exculpatory information.

THEREFORE, Defendant's Motion to Compel the Production of Discovery and Brady Information is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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