Due Process Claim Elements
To prevail on a due process claim, where police failed to preserve evidence, a defendant must demonstrate:
(1) that the government acted in bad faith in failing to preserve the evidence;
(2) that the exculpatory value of the evidence was apparent before its destruction;
(3) that the nature of the evidence was such that the defendant would be unable to obtain comparable evidence by other reasonably available means. United States v. Jobson, 102 F3d 214, 218 (CA 6, 1996), citing Arizona v. Youngblood, at 57-58.
In Arizona v. Youngblood, 488 U.S. 51, 57; 109 S Ct 333; 102 L Ed 2d 281 (1988), the United States Supreme Court opined:
The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment . . . makes the good or bad faith of the State irrelevant when the State fails to disclose to the defendant material exculpatory evidence. But we think the Due Process Clause requires a different result when we deal with the failure of the State to preserve evidentiary material of which no more can be said than that it could have been subjected to tests, the results of which might have exonerated the defendant.
The Court was unwilling to impose "on the police an undifferentiated and absolute duty to retain and to preserve all material that might be of conceivable evidentiary significance in a particular prosecution." Id. at 58.
See also People v. Johnson, 197 Mich App 362, 365; 494 NW2d 873 (1992).
"The presence or absence of bad faith by the police for purposes of the Due Process Clause must necessarily turn on the police's knowledge of the exculpatory value of the evidence at the time it was lost or destroyed.
To establish bad faith, then a defendant must prove 'official animus' or a 'conscious effort to suppress exculpatory evidence.'" Jobson, supra at 218.