Jailhouse snitches and error-prone crime labs — problems that continue to bedevil the nation's criminal justice system — form the backdrop to two U.S. Supreme Court cases with huge implications for the rights of defendants and the role of prosecutors. Counsel representing former California attorney general and Los Angeles district attorney John Van de Kamp and his former chief assistant in the DA's office will urge the high court on Nov. 5 to give his two clients absolute immunity from a civil rights lawsuit whose roots are in the 1970s and 1980s jailhouse informant scandal in Los Angeles.
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