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Kat’s Blog: The “Public List” That Remains Private

In 1963 the Supreme Court/ Brady v. Maryland, ruled that prosecutors must inform those accused of a crime about any evidence that might help their defense at trial and that includes sharing the information on something known as the “Brady List.”

Counties across the country are, by law, required to keep a detailed list of police officers who have committed crimes, who have lied on the job or whose honesty is deemed “questionable”. We’re not talking about officers who have been fired either, these are officers that are still on the job, still asserting their authority, still putting people behind bars, even those sometimes wrongly accused.

With so many offenses coming down to a police officer’s word against the so-called “offender”, it was interesting to learn that those in law enforcement who have a habit of lying or being deceitful, those who have committed crimes, some of which include DUI’s or racial bias, are by law, supposed to be on a “public list” of their own, a list of cops of “questionable ethics” as it were, the Brady List.

So why don’t we ever hear about the “public” Brady List? Why are the wrong-doings of those in law enforcement kept a well- guarded secret while the same consideration is not given to those on the “sex offender registry”? After all, it is the law, a list is a list and wouldn’t we all like to know who the “bad cops” are, just for “safety’s sake” of course.

The USA Today Network spent more than a year investigating this country’s compliance with the 1963 Supreme Court’s ruling and the results were shocking:

Thousands of people have faced criminal charges or been incarcerated based on testimony by officers that had credibility issues.

There were at least 300 prosecutor’s offices that were not in compliance and not taking any measures to comply with the Supreme Court ruling. These offices had no Brady List that kept track of dishonest or untrustworthy law enforcement officers. What constituted a list-worthy “offense” by an officer also varied from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. There is no comprehensive “rule” as to what behaviors land an officer on “the list” and few repercussions for police or prosecutors that disregard the requirement. All sounds very loosie-goosey if you ask me.

Some counties that did have a Brady List refused to make the list public, thereby rendering the public and those accused, helpless in knowing whether or not the law was even being complied with.

There were other lists with over 1,200 officers identified by USA Today as having histories of misconduct or lying that had not been flagged by prosecutors and over 261 that had been disciplined for dishonesty.

Prosecutors that didn’t keep Brady Lists gave the following reasons for not keeping a list, they “knew their officers well” and they were “concerned that the officers jobs could be jeopardized if they were placed on a list based on minor or unfounded accusations.”


I can’t help but wonder how many registrants and others may have been wrongly accused or ended up on the registry due to untrustworthy testimony by law enforcement officers who should have been on “the list,” but weren’t. How many registrants are on the list based on minor or perhaps unfounded accusations? How many registrants can no longer find jobs because they are on a “public list’? And how many registrants are dragged into jail every year for “failure to register” because that’s the law and yet police officers and prosecutors can flout the law without any penalty and continue their careers?

There’s an old saying, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

If registrants are held to the law requiring that they be on a “public list” for their wrong doings, shouldn’t counties, prosecutors and law enforcement be held to that law which requires them to provide, a “public list” of law enforcement officers accused of wrong-doings?

I think we can even make it easy for counties to comply with the law.

As a cost-saving measure let me suggest that counties use the already “handy-dandy registry template” for those who are supposed to be on the Brady List, names, pictures, offenses, addresses, places of employment, etc.

Just thinking of public safety, of course.

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Seems fair and logical to me. What do we need to do to get some traction on this and hold them accountable? This could be a game changer for the way registrants are looked at if police officers are on a list too.

I heard on the radio just yesterday that the Los Angeles County Sherrif’s Dept. Is under investigation by (I think) The Police Commission, for not adhering to, or abiding by the rules of The Brady Law. The Sherrif’s Dept. only comment, we are looking into it. It will be interesting to see how it plays out though.

Just today on Yahoo news:

‘Brazen, naked corruption’ gets SC sheriff 1 year in prison

Report: Philadelphia inspector facing sex assault charges

ICE agent repeatedly raped and impregnated immigrant for seven years while threatening deportation, lawsuit claims

Criminal misconduct by US border officers has reached a 5-year high

@RM Thank you for sharing these links with us. I must admit that I do enjoy reading these articles for the irony. It feels fitting that they get to experience the same oppressive conditions and injustices that Registrants go through everyday in and outside of prison. Perhaps that would change their opinions about the system they were once part of. Perhaps after years of harboring fear & hate of Registrants through ignorance and lies that a truth begins to emerge: That the face of the “sex offender” is pretty much their own. “They” don’t come from another world that is… Read more »

I have said this a million times in the past. Sex Offenders are born each and every day! Some are found out soon and some are found out 50 years later or never! But it never ENDS! Once a child is born that child could become the next sex offender down the road of life.Or the next murder or the next drunk driver to kill a family. I lived next door to a family that had 4 kids 3 boys 1 girl.I was friends with that for many many years. I would hang out at their home and they would… Read more »

Go Ms. Kat!
Thank you for your truthful article and similiar the rules are yet No Compliance checks!
SCOTUS Rulng but NO Enforcement from thenselves… Law Enforcement
Not The Brady Bunch!

There are a few known databases of bad public actors but they’re mostly obscure like these advocates here, don’t get much media attention. I’ve run into a list of known dirty prosecutor & cases the conclusion was drawn from. DNA exoneration proves more than the fact wrongful convictions occur in the U.S. System it also proves 0 quantified & valid evidence is “needed to convict” an innocent person. That fact broadly implicates foundational fair trial standards which have been overrun by duly elected former prosecutors as representative in congress. The folks get what they wanted, more jails. OMNIBUS68, 94. The… Read more »

@Tim In WI Keep up with up the list and continue to share these articles with us. If we compile enough of these stories we can shape a new narrative of the futlity of the Registry, the corruption and hypocrisy of the system, and the pointless and vindictive damage done to Registrants along with their loved ones. Every bit of truth is like a drop of water that accumulates into the sea of knowledge. With enough drops of water we can create a tsunami that will crash down on the landscape of ignorance. As Bruce Lee once said, “Be like… Read more »

Bill, friends of Bill, The dye hath been cast, to the saints advantage. When secret courts become a norm or SOP much can go awry. A man attempts to do what little he can to improve the status quo and is attacked relentlessly by both of the entrenched ‘ civil’ interests left AND right. It was Nixon who took the America’s market to China first. OMNI68 Begat fed crime and control Act 1. WJC inked OMNI94 that contain the J. Wetterling Act on increasing the punishment to LIFE INDENTURE. Our current CAC swims against the same tide of PC-BS just… Read more »

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