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Name: People v. Rose
Case #: A135974
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 05/29/2014
Subsequent History: Review granted 9/10/2014: S219821

Defense may not compel prosecution to comply with its duty under Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83 by seeking order requiring prosecution to run rap sheets on officer witnesses. Rose, a participant in a protest movement in Oakland, hit a police officer with a folding chair. A jury convicted him of felony resisting an executive officer (Pen. Code, § 69) and misdemeanor assault. Rose made a pretrial motion to compel the prosecution to run rap sheets for police witnesses. The prosecution acknowledged its duty to reveal known information regarding an officer’s criminal history but stated it had an alternate database for identifying and providing such material. The trial court declined to compel the prosecution to obtain such information in a particular manner. Rose appealed the denial of the discovery motion. Held: Affirmed on this point. A Brady violation occurs when information favorable to the defense has been suppressed by the State and prejudice results. Here, there was no evidence any of the officers had a criminal history, so there was no showing of a Brady violation. Although the prosecution has a duty to discover exculpatory or impeaching evidence within its constructive possession and to disclose it, Brady does not require prosecutors to carry out their duty to learn about this information in a precise manner. District attorneys have broad discretion in choosing a mechanism to ensure that they learn of Brady material. The prosecution’s choice to use a database instead of running rap sheets was within its discretion.

Rose failed to established the court’s ruling resulted in an “asymmetrical application of the rules of evidence.” Rose claimed the denial of his discovery motion, while the defense was required to provide detailed witness information to the prosecution so rap sheets could be run, was the functional equivalent of a prohibited asymmetrical application of the rules of evidence and violated due process. But Rose was entitled to receive information regarding the officers’ criminal history; the prosecution never claimed it had impeachment evidence which it was not required to disclose.

The stay-away condition of probation was narrowly tailored and designed to promote rehabilitation. A probation term required Rose to stay away from an area in downtown Oakland where the offense occurred. Rose claimed the condition is overbroad. The courts have broad discretion to fashion probation terms to promote rehabilitation and protect public safety. A condition which regulates activity not itself criminal must be reasonably related to the defendant’s offense or future criminality. A stricter standard applies to terms which impinge on constitutional rights. The condition here was narrowly tailored to promote rehabilitation as it restricted access to a small area that was the focal point of, and related to, the crime.