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National Briefing / Washington, D.c.

Prosecutors' immunity at issue

November 05, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed worried that allowing people to sue prosecutors who fabricate evidence to win convictions might chill other prosecutions, even if those prosecutors are doing their jobs correctly and honestly.

But justices also seemed frustrated at the thought that prosecutors could knowingly send an innocent person to prison and then escape any repercussions by claiming that they were doing their job.

The case in front of the high court involves two former Iowa prosecutors, Dave Richter and Joseph Hrvol. They are being sued by Curtis W. McGhee Jr. and Terry Harrington, who were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1978 for the death of a retired police officer. The men were released after 25 years.

Evidence showed that the prosecutors had failed to share evidence with the defense that pointed to another suspect.

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