Pottawattamie County v. McGhee Oral Argument

Today the United States Supreme Court hear oral arguments in Pottawattamie County v. McGhee.  NPR has this pre-oral argument report.  According to NPR's post-oral argument report, the oral arguments seemingly went badly:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned whether allowing persons wrongfully convicted of crimes to sue prosecutors would have a chilling effect on prosecutions.
During oral arguments in Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, several justices said they were concerned about how their ruling would affect honest prosecutors if suspects could sue because they didn't like a jury verdict.
(You may read the oral argument transcript here.)  That argument is intellectually weak for all of the reasons I stated in this post.  A prosecutor is always entitled to absolute immunity for prosecutorial acts.  In Pottawattamie County, the prosecutors are being sued for acts taken before an indictment.  Prosecutors acting in an investigative capacity have for decades only been entitled to qualified immunity.  And yet the Republic has not fallen.

A prosecutor who does not - unlike the prosecutors in Pottawattamie County - frame a person would have any lawsuit against him dismissed under qualified immunity.  Honest prosecutors have nothing to fear.

By the way, the prosecutors in Pottawattamie County have never been disciplined; never been punished; never been sanctioned.  This is true even though it's indisputable that the Pottawattamie County prosecutors framed innocent black men.  What is wrong with our system of justice?

The Supreme Court will have the last word.  Will it give unethical prosecutors a pass - using the fake justification that honest prosecutors will be deterred from prosecuting cases if they can be sued for framing an innocent man?

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