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Giglio v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States

October 12, 1971, Argued ; February 24, 1972, Decided

No. 70-29

Opinion

 [*150]   [***106]   [**764]  MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.

Petitioner was convicted of passing forged money orders and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. While appeal was pending in the Court of Appeals, defense counsel discovered new evidence indicating that the Government  [*151]  had failed to disclose an alleged promise made to its key witness that he would not be prosecuted if he testified for the Government. We granted certiorari to determine whether the evidence not disclosed was such as to require a new trial under the due process criteria of Napue v. Illinois, 360 U.S. 264 (1959), and Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).

 [***107]  The controversy in this case centers around the testimony of Robert Taliento, petitioner's alleged coconspirator in the offense and the only witness linking petitioner with the crime. The Government's [****3]  evidence at trial showed that in June 1966 officials at the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. discovered that Taliento, as teller at the bank, had cashed several forged money orders. Upon questioning by FBI agents, he confessed supplying petitioner with one of the bank's customer signature cards used by Giglio to forge $ 2,300 in money orders; Taliento then processed these money orders through the regular channels of the bank. Taliento related this story to the grand jury and petitioner was indicted; thereafter, he was named as a coconspirator with petitioner but was not indicted.

Trial commenced two years after indictment. Taliento testified, identifying petitioner as the instigator of the  [**765]  scheme. Defense counsel vigorously cross-examined, seeking to discredit his testimony by revealing possible agreements or arrangements for prosecutorial leniency:

"[Counsel.] Did anybody tell you at any time that if you implicated somebody else in this case that you yourself would not be prosecuted?

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405 U.S. 150 *; 92 S. Ct. 763 **; 31 L. Ed. 2d 104 ***; 1972 U.S. LEXIS 83 ****

GIGLIO v. UNITED STATES

Prior History:  [****1]  CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.

Disposition: Reversed and remanded.

CORE TERMS

prosecuted, new trial, indicted, promise, money order, grand jury

Criminal Law & Procedure, Appeals, Prosecutorial Misconduct, General Overview, Trials, Defendant's Rights, Right to Fair Trial, Witnesses, Credibility, Discovery & Inspection, Brady Materials, Preliminary Proceedings, Pretrial Motions & Procedures, Suppression of Evidence