August 25, 2019

Tenth Circuit: Claims that Prosecutorial Misconduct Affected Integrity of Proceedings Were Remanded for Resolution

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in In re Pickard/In re Apperson on Monday, June 18, 2012.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed in part and remanded to the district court. Petitioners were convicted of drug-related crimes and an important witness for the prosecution was a criminal associate of theirs and informant. After the convictions were affirmed on appeal, they filed district-court motions under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) to set aside the court’s judgment in the § 2255 proceedings, raising multiple claims. “The claims relevant to this appeal are that evidence newly discovered by them through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests shows (1) that the prosecution violated its Brady/Giglio duties at trial and (2) that the prosecution made a false statement in the § 2255 proceedings that forestalled the discovery from which they could have established that there had been a Brady/Giglio violation at trial.” The district court ruled that the claims of prosecutorial misconduct amounted to second-or-successive claims under § 2255, which it could not consider without authorization from this court. It therefore transferred the claims to the Tenth Circuit.

The Court agreed with the district court that Petitioners’ “claims of Brady/Giglio violations at trial are second-or-successive claims; and because [Petitioners] have not established the requisites for authorizing a second-or-successive claim,” the authorization was denied. “On the other hand, [Petitioners]’ claims that prosecutorial misconduct in the § 2255 proceedings affected the integrity of those proceedings are proper Rule 60(b) claims,” and those claims were remanded for resolution.

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