A Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide detective has testified in numerous cases without jurors, judges or defense attorneys knowing he had previously received a lengthy suspension for dishonesty after he punched a suspect several times and lied about it, records and interviews show.
Daniel Morris’ discipline record of dishonesty is among the first wave of revelations this year under a new police transparency law and illustrates the type of important evidence about law enforcement misconduct that, until now, was long kept secret in California.
Morris has testified in five murder trials since becoming a homicide detective, but defense attorneys in those cases said they were never informed about his previous misconduct.
By law, prosecutors are required to tell criminal defendants about evidence that would damage the credibility of law enforcement witnesses. Failure to do so can result in convictions being overturned, even if prosecutors did not know about the information.
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