Faculty Notes

Prof. Alafair Burke Quoted in Guardian Story on Patrick Kane Rape Case

Alafair S. Burke, Professor of Law and Hofstra Research Fellow

Patrick Kane rape case: hometown residents give star ‘benefit of the doubt’
By Jessica Glenza
The Guardian
Oct. 5, 2015


[Erie County district attorney Frank Sedita III] also revealed tidbits about his own investigation, including that he’d disclosed the results of DNA tests from the actual rape kit to Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria.

He claimed he gave the evidence over to Cambria before showing it to a grand jury, citing the Brady doctrine, derived from a famous case that governs when prosecutors must release evidence to defense attorneys, and that is triggered after charges are filed.

But Alafair S Burke, a Hofstra University law professor who has written about the Brady doctrine extensively, called that decision “highly unusual”.

“It certainly doesn’t fall under a doctrine formally … There’s plenty of cases where the prosecutor never pursues charges – the evidence never becomes public, let alone never go to the defendant specifically.”

Read the full article.