On November 4, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Pottawattamie County, IA v. McGhee, which addresses the extent to which prosecutors are immune from civil liability for egregious misconduct such as coercing false testimony from witnesses. Both the trial and appellate courts disagreed with prosecutors’ argument that the doctrine of absolute immunity should protect prosecutors from liability for such conduct.
11/4/09 Update. One of the prosecutors’ arguments in the Pottawattamie County case is that there is “no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed. ” Well, there ought to be.
11/11/09 Update. Here’s a link for the transcript of oral arguments (PDF). (Also added “case summaries” and added to the “additional coverage” list below.)
Additional Coverage (alphabetically by publication):
- ABA Journal: Associate Makes Supreme Court Debut in Prosecutor Immunity Case.
- Above the Law: Mayer Brown Associate Makes His Supreme Court Debut.
- Christian Science Monitor: Supreme Court appears split on tackling rogue prosecutors.
- Jurist: Supreme Court hears arguments in prosecutorial immunity, capital cases.
- Law.com: High Court Justices Weigh Tradition of Prosecutorial Immunity Against Potential Civil Rights Violations.
- NPR: (1) Can Prosecutors Be Sued By People They Framed? (2) High Court Weighs Prosecutors’ Immunity.
- SCOTUSblog: (1) How Broad Is Prosecutorial Immunity? (2) Rethinking Prosecutorial Immunity (Argument Recap).
- Slate: Does the Constitution protect prosecutors who fabricate evidence?
- TIME: When Is It Legal to Frame a Man for Murder?
- UPI.com: Prosecutor case divides U.S. Supreme Court.
- USA TODAY: High court weighs lawsuits against prosecutors.
- Wall Street Journal: High Court Worries About Stifling Prosecutors.
- Washington Post: (1) The right not to be framed. (2) High court weighs immunity afforded to prosecutors.
1/29/10 Revision. Changed category from “Cases of Note” to “Case Law.”