The United States Law Week

Immigration Status Off-Limits to Impeach Witnesses in Maryland

Jan. 24, 2020, 8:09 PM

A prosecution witness’s immigration status can’t be used to impeach her character unless there are allegations of a quid pro quo or leniency in her immigration case, the Maryland Court of Appeals said.

The status isn’t a proper subject for cross-examination and prosecutors aren’t required to disclose it during discovery, the opinion by Judge Shirley M. Watts said.

Tshibangu Kazadi challenged his murder conviction, claiming prosecutors should have disclosed a witness was an undocumented immigrant and he should have been able to cross-examine her about her status.

Absent additional circumstances—such as allegations of quid pro quo or leniency in an...

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