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Turner v. United States

137 S. Ct. 1885 (2017)

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Turner v. United States

United States Supreme Court

137 S. Ct. 1885 (2017)

Facts

In 1985, Charles Turner and several others (the perpetrators) (defendants) were indicted with the kidnapping, robbery, and murder of Catherine Fuller. The police believed that Fuller was killed by a large group of teens who had planned to rob her. Two of the indicted teens pleaded guilty and testified for the government as witnesses. Although the two witnesses agreed on general events, they differed on some details. The perpetrators claimed alibis that they were not part of the group, but some of their alibis conflicted. Ultimately, the perpetrators were convicted. The perpetrators appealed, and the D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed. In 2010, the perpetrators moved to have their sentences vacated because the government had withheld exculpatory evidence. Specifically, the government withheld evidence of a man in the neighborhood who was arrested for similar crimes and that another man had stated that he heard groans in the alley where the crime occurred but saw no one there. The perpetrators claimed that if they had known about this evidence, they would have challenged the prosecution’s basic theory that Fuller was killed in a group attack. The D.C. Superior Court rejected the perpetrators’ claims, and the D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed. The perpetrators appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)

Concurrence (Kagan, J.)

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