On January 16, 2014, in Poventud v. City of New York, No. 12-1011-cv, 2014 WL 182313 (2d Cir. 2014), the Second Circuit, sitting en banc, upheld the original panel’s ruling that the defendant, who served nine years in jail for a crime he probably didn’t commit, could sue the City despite the fact that he had originally pleaded guilty. The dissenter on the original panel would have held that his Brady claim – that the police withheld information that impeached the victim’s identification – was waived by his plea, which essentially admitted he was at the scene.
In short, the Second Circuit took a very practical approach to the pressures – particularly on someone who is innocent – to plead guilty.