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Trombetta-Youngblood and the Problem of Bad Faith

As we noted last week, a court may dismiss your criminal case if the government destroyed or failed to preserve evidence that was potentially favorable to your defense. If you make that argument, however, the court will engage in a two-step analysis, the first step of which will ask how favorable or exculpatory the lost evidence was (or could have been). If the evidence had exculpatory Read More

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California Courts Dismiss Robbery Case Based on Government’s Bad Faith

If the police or prosecution destroys evidence that is potentially favorable to the defense, or if they fail to preserve that evidence such that it degrades or disappears, they can lose the case on a motion to dismiss. See California v. Trombetta (1984) 467 U.S. 479; Arizona v. Youngblood (1988) 488 U.S. 51. Two weeks ago, for Read More

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