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Criminal Procedure; Due process; exculpatory evidence

Criminal Procedure
Due process; exculpatory evidence

Where evidence would have been damaging to the defense, it did not violate due process for the government to not disclose it.

“Even if the confirmation of patient deaths would have had an incremental impeachment value in the cross-examination of Levato, Muoghalu’s lawyer surely didn’t want to connect his client to a drug ‘linked’ to patient deaths. But it would have been impossible to connect Levato but not Muoghalu, who had been paid $32,000 not to yank Lovenox from St. Joseph hospital. A jury told about the patient deaths might think Muoghalu and Levato little better than a pair of murderers. That might not be a legitimate inference; for all we know, Muoghalu was unaware that Lovenox was being prescribed inappropriately, that Aventis had been accused of encouraging such prescriptions, and that deaths had resulted—the investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services did not identify any deaths at St. Joseph. And an investigative finding carries less weight than a judicial determination after trial or an agency’s determination after an adversarial adjudication.

Muoghalu’s lawyer could have tried to explain all this to the jury, but his explanation probably would not have erased the inference that Levato and Muoghalu had been endangering human life for financial gain.”


10-3873 U.S. v. Muoghalu

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kendall, J., Posner, J.

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