Supreme Court Dismisses Case On Prosecutorial Liability
By Mary Jacoby | January 5, 2022 9:35 am

After a settlement, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a case that questioned when, if ever, prosecutors should be held personally liable for their official acts

Curtis McGhee and Terry Harrington, who served 25 years in prison, sued prosecutors for violating their civil rights by allegedly coercing and coaching witnesses to falsely accuse them of killing a retired Iowa policeman. The suit, Pottawattamie County v. McGhee and Harrington, targeted County Attorney David Richter and an Assistant County Attorney Joseph Hrvol.

Police who manipulate evidence have qualified immunity, but prosecutors have absolute immunity. The issue before the court is whether prosecutors performing police-like duties before trial, and then either participate or do not participate at trial, enjoy protection from liability.

The case was settled for $12 million. Read the plaintiffs’ news release here.


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