US - Supreme Court To Decide If Prosecutors Can Be Sued

Discussion in 'General Information & Discussion' started by Wudge, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    Case: Pottawattamie County et al. v. McGhee et al.

    "Issue: Whether a prosecutor may be subjected to a civil trial and potential damages for a wrongful conviction and incarceration where the prosecutor allegedly violated a criminal defendant’s “substantive due process” rights by procuring false testimony during the criminal investigation, and then introduced that same testimony against the criminal defendant at trial."


    In a case dear to my heart, the Supreme Court will decide if prosecutors can be sued. The breech the Court will rule upon regards procuring false testimony. If the Justices rule that defendants do have such a right to sue prosecutors, look for an eventual extension of the right to incude the right to sue prosecutors if they withhold exculpatory evidence.

    http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/todays-orders-34/

    [I'm hoping for and anticipate a landmark ruling -- any leak in this dam will have prosecutors spinning.]
     
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  3. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    Wow.
    Wudge what happens to a prosecutor now if he violates a defendants rights? Aren't they subject to criminal charges? Do you think civil charges are reasonable?
     
  4. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    Prosecutors have always had absolute immunity. As such, they are fully protected from lawsuits, repeat: fully. They can be referred to the State bar. In some states, they might receive a proverbial slap on the wrist. True punishment (disbarrment) remains rare.

    Prior to the Duke Lacrosse case that exposed Mike Nifong to the nation, a referral to the North Carolina bar might well have resulted in a promotion. Many prosecutors consider wrongful convictions to be sport -- North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, California and Illinois have long topped my list of unholy states.
     
  5. Jersey*Girl

    Jersey*Girl New Member

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    I hope this happens. I do believe prosecutors that knowingly withhold evidence or knowingly provide false testimony should be subject to court actions. Civil penalties are almost always more lucrative when dealing with monetary amounts, even if a criminal charge has been upheld with a conviction. I'd even suggest disbarment...seriously.

    On another note, I also believe defense lawyers should be able to be sued...especially when the plaintiff or prosecution finds out and proves that the defense withheld info that happened to prove their clients guilt - but their lawyer still fought for their freedom and never mentioned such evidence.
     

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