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Matter of Larsen

2016 UT 26 (2016)

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Matter of Larsen

Utah Supreme Court

2016 UT 26 (2016)

Facts

Ten days before trial of a felony robbery that turned on eyewitness testimony, Utah prosecutor Larsen showed two eyewitnesses a photograph of the accused. Larsen did not tell the defense, who arguably could have used it to undermine the accuracy of the eyewitnesses’ in-court identifications of the defendant. When one eyewitness denied having seen a photo of the defendant before trial, Larsen remained silent. However, when the second eyewitness testified that she had been shown a photo, Larsen acknowledged it. The disciplinary committee brought charges against Larsen for violating Utah’s ethical rule 3.8. Larsen argued that his acknowledgment was timely under the ethical rules because it satisfied his Brady obligation.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lee, J.)

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