The US Supreme Court on Wednesday began to weigh a court case that demonstrates the complexity and absurdity of our judicial system. They are weighing whether or not judicial immunity still applies if the prosecutor frames a person to get the conviction.
I’ll wait for that to settle in. A prosecutor can actively frame you for a crime, you can prove it, but they cannot be held legally responsible.
The Supreme Court case stems from the conviction of Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee. They were convicted in 1978 of the murder of a retired Council Bluffs police officer. They sat in prison for 25 years before being released in 2003. The prosecutor in the case ignored and knowingly withheld evidence of other suspects.
The issue at hand is that even though the prosecutor knew that the evidence he was presenting was false and eye witness was a “liar and perjurer”, under the laws of judicial immunity he cannot be held responsible for his actions. This steams from the need to let prosecutors do their job without having to worry about every person they put away suing them for something they had no control over, i.e. police tampering with evidence.
The immunity laws are a good thing. They are there to protect those that protect us all. But there is a line that was crossed that needs to be addressed by the SCOTUS. This kind of willful breaking of the law to get a conviction goes against the spirit of the law and our own idea of what REAL justice is in this country. This prosecutor’s actions took Mr. Harrington, a young man of 17 years who was being recruited by Yale to play football, and sent him to prison for 25 years.
I wish Mr. Harrington the best in his continued quest for justice.