Should Prosecutors Be Immune From Civil Rights Lawsuits

The United States Supreme Court is set to decide if prosecutors should be immune from civil liability when they prosecute and help convict an innocent person. This is a hot bottom issue for many people. There have been 212 people freed from prison in the last decade. These were people convicted of serious, violent offenses. The people convicted were freed using new DNA technology. Their convictions were also based on eye witness testimony that had to be absolutely incorrect. It is horrible for an innocent person to go to prison. Think a few minutes about how you would feel if you spent 15 or 20 years in a maximum security prison for a crime you did not commit. On the other hand prosecutors argue that they have to be free to pursue their duties and not be worried about lawsuits.

It is going to be interesting to see how the Supreme Court will handle this case. I think it makes total sense to provide prosecutors liability from civil liability in their routine duties. But, what about in those situations where the proof shows that the prosecutor knowingly used false testimony or made up testimony that caused a man to get convicted. I personally think that if a case shows that a prosecutor knowingly used or supported the use of false testimony there should be no immunity for the prosecutor. Prosecutors have a duty not only to prosecute but to ensure that the accused receives a fundamentally fair trial and that statutes, rules, and the Constitution are followed. The prosecutor should not be entitled to immunity if he violates the law. I am not hopeful of a positive decision from the Supreme Court. Let’s wait for the opinion.

Merrida Coxwell is an attorney with 29 years of experience helping people charged with criminal offenses. Over the course of his career he has helped hundreds of people during some of the worse times of their life. If you have a criminal problem do not hesitate to call for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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