Wrongful Conviction Section 1983 Lawsuit

Working within the criminal justice system is demoralizing.  Judges ignore facts by making guesses about the way the world works.  They channel Dr. Pangloss.  See how far you get with a judge arguing that your client's confession was coerced.  Yet false confessions are a scientific fact.  They also lead to horrible results:

This civil rights case arose from the investigation and prosecution of innocent teenagers for a crime they did not commit.  Michael Crowe, Aaron Houser, and Joshua Treadway were wrongfully accused of the murder of Michael’s 12-year-old sister Stephanie Crowe. After hours of grueling, psychologically abusive interrogation—during which the boys were isolated from their families and had no access to lawyers—the boys were indicted on murder charges and pre-trial proceedings commenced.
A year later, DNA testing revealed Stephanie’s blood on the shirt of a transient, Richard Tuite, who had been seen in the Crowes’ neighborhood on the night of the murder and reported by several neighbors for strange and harassing behavior. The shirt had been collected as part of the initial investigation, but never fully tested. Charges against the boys were eventually dropped, and Tuite was convicted of Stephanie’s murder.
Michael, Aaron, Joshua, and their families filed a com-plaint against multiple individuals and government entitieswho had been involved in the investigation and prosecution ofthe boys. The complaint alleged, amongst other claims, constitutional violations under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and defamation claims. In two separate orders, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants as to the majority of the plaintiffs’ claims. The Crowes and the Housers now appeal the bulk of those orders and several defendants cross-appeal the district court’s denial of summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds as to several claims. We affirm in part and reverse in part.
Crowe v. Wrisley (9th Cir.) (here).

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