Supreme Court rules prosecutors can lie and fabricate evidence
(INFO WARS) COMMENT: The Supreme Court’s decision in Connick v. Thompson virtually gives license to prosecutors to lie, fabricate or withhold evidence, since they apparently can’t be held accountable for knowingly or intentionally sending an innocent man to prison and even death row.
Posted April 10, 2011
WASHINGTON – An ideologically divided Supreme Court on Tuesday stripped a $14 million award from a wrongfully convicted man who had spent 14 years on death row and successfully sued New Orleans prosecutors for misconduct.
[A dissenting Ginsburg] said the actions of prosecutors under the control of Connick, who left office in 2003 and is the father of the famous singer of the same name, “dishonored” the obligation to turn over evidence favorable to the accused established in Brady v. Maryland, nearly 50 years ago.
There is no dispute that one of Connick’s prosecutors did not turn over a blood test that would have shown Thompson innocent of one of the charges against him. But Thomas said that a single incident is not enough to prove liability for the district attorney’s office and that Thompson did not show a pattern of similar violations.
Thompson was convicted of armed robbery in 1985, before he stood trial for the murder of Raymond Liuzza, the son of a prominent New Orleans hotel owner. Prosecutors used the armed robbery conviction as a way to coerce Thompson not to take the stand in his own defense, and, after conviction, to secure the death penalty. A pair of lawyers at a large Philadelphia law firm took up his case to spare him death; at one point, Thompson came within weeks of execution.
But in 1999, an investigator discovered that a blood test conducted in the armed robbery case showed that Thompson was not the perpetrator. Prosecutors acknowledged that it was withheld from Thompson’s attorneys.
High court says exonerated inmate cannot sue prosecutors
April 10, 2011
Washington (CNN) — A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled against a former death row inmate who sought damages from the state after prosecutors hid crucial blood tests that would have earlier proven his innocence. The 5-4 decision Tuesday involved John Thompson, who came within weeks of execution and had spent 18 years behind bars before being set free after the new forensic evidence came to light.
At issue was whether a district attorney’s office should be held liable, under a “failure to train” standard, when one of its prosecutors unconstitutionally withholds exculpatory evidence from a criminal defendant.
Then-New Orleans area District Attorney Harry Connick Sr. claimed his office should not be held fully responsible after one of his staff attorneys violated long-standing, accepted procedures on handling evidence in criminal trials.
Thompson’s lawyers said the DA’s office as a whole should be held liable for the poor training of prosecutors working under Connick.