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Balko on Absolute Prosecutorial Immunity:
[Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars]

Balko has an article at Reason about a case the Supreme Court will hear this fall over what seems like a perfectly obvious question: Can a prosecutor be held personally liable for his actions if he intentionally falsifies testimony and/or evidence in a prosecution that puts an innocent person in prison for 25 years? If you think the answer should obviously be yes, you’re a sane, reasonable, decent human being.

If you think the answer should be no because prosecutors should be absolutely immune to any civil suits even if it can be proven that they deliberately violated the law and created fake evidence on which to convict an innocent person, then you must be a prosecutor. Or one of 27 state attorneys general. Or the Obama administration. They all filed briefs taking that heinous position.


If a prosecutor knowingly falsifies evidence, and even creates it out of whole cloth, what is the penalty? If they have absolute immunity, they are shielded from civil suits but if they retire, it appears they are also free of any criminal suits.

So why wouldn’t they always manufacture evidence? The penalties for being found out seem awfully trivial. Perhaps the Supreme Court will feel similarly.

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