Tuesday, September 28, 2010
U.S. Prosecutors Gone Wild
During oral arguments in that case (Pottawattamie v. McGhee), a majority of Supreme Court justices seemed to indicate that they may finally be ready to put a dent in absolute prosecutorial immunity, the complete protection (which has no basis in the U.S. Constitution and no common law tradition) we give prosecutors from lawsuits from the people they prosecute, even in cases where a prosecutor’s gross negligence contributed to a wrongful conviction. At issue in Pottawattamie was whether absolute immunity should protect prosecutors even in cases where they intentionally manufacture evidence that causes a wrongful conviction. That case was settled before the Court could issue a decision, but the Court will revisit the question next term, in the case Connick v. Thompson. It isn’t difficult to see how shielding prosecutors from liability even in an obvious frame job creates some some pretty twisted incentives.
The full article is here. This article appears on the same day that news outlets are reporting that one of the prosecutors in the Ted Stevens corruption case has committed suicide.
Posted by Samuel Sharp at 9/28/2010 07:14:00 AM