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Kyles v. Whitley

United States Supreme Court
514 U.S. 419 (1995)



Delores Dye was killed during a carjacking. Eyewitnesses gave police contradictory descriptions of the attacker. Police made a list of cars at the crime scene. A man called Beanie claimed to have bought Dye’s stolen car from Curtis Kyles (defendant). Beanie used an alias and gave several inconsistent statements implicating Kyles. Police found evidence of the murder in Kyles’s apartment and trash. Kyles’s fingerprint was found on a slip of paper in Dye’s car. Three of the five witnesses identified Kyles photo. Police did not investigate Beanie. Kyles was charged with first-degree murder. Prior to trial, Kyles’s attorney requested any exculpatory or impeachment evidence. The prosecution claimed no such evidence existed. At trial, Kyles claimed Beanie was trying to frame him. Beanie did not testify. The trial resulted in a mistrial. At the second trial, Kyles’ presented evidence of his innocence and Beanie’s guilt. With Beanie in the court, the witnesses still identified Kyles. Kyles was found guilty and sentenced to death. After appeal, Kyles learned that the prosecution withheld favorable evidence. Unable to get relief at the state level, Kyles filed a petition for habeas corpus. The district court denied, and the court of appeals affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)

Dissent (Scalia, J.)

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