Hundreds of Texas law enforcement officers have such checkered histories that prosecutors believe they are legally compelled to inform defense attorneys that the officers' history of dishonesty may help their clients. In several instances, cops' tarnished histories have caused district attorneys to refuse any case brought by them, reports the Austin American-Statesman.
For the most part, you can't know who those cops are or what they did, even though their actions have resulted in the dismissal of dozens of criminal cases. The newspaper asked each of the state's district attorneys for copies of their so-called Brady lists, as well as letters they had sent to law enforcement agencies alerting them of local officers whose credibility was so shaky that they could not be used in court as a witness. Many smaller, rural prosecutor offices, said they kept no formal list of suspect police officers.