Megan Mason Dister
In Stacy v. State, 500 P.3d 1023 (Alaska 2021), the supreme court held that under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) and Alaska law, prosecutors have a duty to take steps to learn about favorable material possessed by the prosecution and in personnel files. (Stacy, 500 P.3d at 1026-27). Stacy was convicted “of second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance (possession of heroin with the intent to deliver).” (Id. at 1026). Stacy appealed arguing the trial court erred in not instructing the jury on accomplice liability for a lesser included offense, it erred in allowing an officer to testify to his opinions on Stacy’s intent, that there was insufficient evidence, and that the trial court violated his due process rights under Brady. (Id.). The state argued that there is no independent duty under Brady for the prosecution to learn Brady material from a police officer’s personnel file. (Id. at 1033). The supreme court affirmed in part, but remanded the Brady issue, reasoning the state has a duty to disclose Brady materials, so prosecutors must learn of Brady material in police personnel files to insure proper disclosure. (Id. at 1038–39). The court remanded to the superior court with orders for the prosecutor to review the relevant personnel files. (Id. at 1040). Affirming in part and remanding in part, the supreme court held that under Brady and Alaska law, prosecutors have a duty to take steps to learn about favorable material possessed by the prosecution and in personnel files. (Id. at 1026-27).