What is the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brady v. U.S.?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main significance of this case was that it made it harder for people who plead guilty at their trials to then go back and rescind their pleas.

In this case, the defendant claimed (in part) that his guilty plea in a kidnapping case was coerced by the fact that the prosecution could have asked for the death penalty if he were convicted without pleading guilty.  The death penalty in the relevant statute was held to be unconstitutional between the time of his plea and the time of his appeal.  The Supreme Court ruled that this was not sufficient reason to rule that his guilty plea was coerced given that he had twice testified that he was pleading guilty voluntarily.