Supreme Court to Decide If Prosecutors Can Be Sued For Wrongful Conviction
The Supreme Court accepted cert today in Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, 08-1065, an Iowa case in which two men wrongfully convicted of murder sued the prosecutors. Curtis W. McGhee Jr., and Terry Harrington served 25 years of a life sentence for killing a retired police officer before being freed when it turned out prosecutors had withheld evidence about another suspect and presented false testimony from witnesses.
[Prosecutors]Richter and Hrvol argued that they were immune from lawsuits because they were acting within the scope of their job. Federal courts, however, rejected their motions to dismiss the lawsuits, saying the immunity did not extend to them.
The lower courts found immunity on the withholding evidence claim but said the prosecutors can be sued for procuring false testimony during the investigation and using it against the defendants at trial. Scotus Blog has the pleadings in the case.
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