Supreme Court Immunization of Prosecutorial Misconduct
In his Section 1983 Litigation column, Martin A. Schwartz explains how a series of decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court has brought us to the point that even the most blatantly unconstitutional conduct by prosecutors is frequently not redressable under §1983.
By Martin A. Schwartz|November 02, 2017 at 02:10 PM
Thank you for sharing!
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The recent death of John Thompson served as a cruel reminder that even the most egregious and injurious prosecutorial wrongdoing may not be redressable in an action for damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. Thompson was the plaintiff in Connick v. Thompson, 131 S.Ct.1350 (2011). He lost his §1983 action in the U.S. Supreme Court, even though he had been on death row for 14 years and the subject of seven death warrants for a murder he did not commit. Prosecutors in the Orleans (Louisiana) District Attorney’s Office had intentionally failed to disclose exculpatory material in violation of Thompson’s due process Brady rights. Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). He had won a §1983 jury verdict of $14 million, $1 million for every year on death row, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, only to have it reversed by a 5-4 ideologically divided Supreme Court. Connick v. Thompson, supra. The Supreme Court decision has been described as “an exceptionally cruel and disingenuous ruling” (Jesse Wegman, “An Innocent Man Who Imagined the World as it Should Be,” N.Y. Times, Oct. 16, 2017, p. A26), “one of the meanest Supreme Court decisions,” “a master class in human apathy”, and “hyper technical and deliberately callous” (Dahlia Lithwick, “Cruel but Not Unusual,” Slate Magazine, April 1, 2011, www.slate.com).
This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.
To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.
LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.
ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.
"Sequencing then, is everything. The four stages of Lean Law, which were borrowed from Strategic Management, are set out in the same order. This is not accidental. As with anything strategic in origin, there is a logic for everything. We are going to apply these four stages, Plan, Execute, Monitor and Improve"
You closed the deal on an important acquisition. Now, a few weeks in, you’re slowly beginning to realize that the business you purchased is different from the business you diligenced. Liabilities are popping up out of nowhere. As this drama unfolds, you take comfort in the fact that you purchased a representation and warranties insurance policy as part of the transaction. Now comes the hard part.
Samuel Estreicher and Holly H. Weiss analyze 'Jock v. Sterling Jewelers,' a case pending in the Second Circuit, in this Arbitration column.
Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone
2 Oliver St #608
Gary Martin Hays & Associates
235 Peachtree St NE #400
Smith & Hassler
225 N Loop W #525
Presented by BigVoodoo
More from ALM
With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
Our Team Account subscription service are for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both option are priced the same.
Dynamically explore and compare data on law firms, companies, individual lawyers, and industry trends.
Exclusive Depth and Reach.
Legal Compass includes access to our exclusive industry reports, combining the unmatched expertise of our analyst team with ALM’s deep bench of proprietary information to provide insights that can’t be found anywhere else.
Big Pictures and Fine Details
Legal Compass delivers you the full scope of information, from the rankings of the Am Law 200 and NLJ 500 to intricate details and comparisons of firms’ financials, staffing, clients, news and events.
As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters.
Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss.
Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.