Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Supreme Court Considers Prosecutors Immunity

Today, the United States Supreme Court considered a case involving immunity from civil lawsuits against prosecutors who fabricated evidence. The case out of Iowa involves the conviction of 2 men for first degree murder in 1978 and sentenced to life in prison. Both men were released 25 years later after their convictions were thrown out. It turns out that prosecutors failed to reveal to anyone that they suspected another man had committed the murders and intentionally omitted his name from any police reports and failed to inform the defense attorneys that the suspect had failed a lie detector test. Both of the men filed civil lawsuits against the prosecutors claiming that the prosecutors coerced witnesses and created false evidence prior to the trial. However, prosecutors are immune from civil lawsuits based on their work at trial. The 2 men are suing the prosecutors for the work they did prior to the trial. The case involves whether the immunity of prosecutors stretches to work done before trial.

The court is expected to release its decision next year.

The case is Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, 08-1065.

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