QUALIFIED Immunity for Prosecutors?

In the US, prosecutors have absolute immunity from civil suits brought by defendants whom they have wronged.  This has resulted in yet another manifestation of “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” and has encouraged prosecutors to break the rules in pursuit of convictions.

The Center for Prosecutor Integrity has been doing fundamental work in addressing the issue of prosecutorial accountability, and they have just published a new white paper titled Qualified Immunity: Striking the Balance for Prosecutor Accountability.  You can see that white paper here: Qualified-Immunity.

These excerpts from the paper – tracing the origins of absolute prosecutorial immunity in the US Supreme Court case of Imbler v. Pachtman:

“In 1976 the High Court handed down the long-awaited decision. Wary that prosecutors would be tempted to “shade” their prosecutorial decision-making under threat of a lawsuit, the Supreme Court held in Imbler v. Pachtman that prosecutors are unconditionally protected from civil liability as long as these actions were performed within the scope of their “advocative” duties.”

“Without a single dissenting vote, America’s highest court erected the doctrine of absolute prosecutorial immunity as the law of the land for prosecutors engaged in their advocative role.”

“By removing a key accountability mechanism and inducing an over-reliance on criminal proceedings and bar disciplinary actions, the Imbler decision unwittingly contributed to a culture of professional non-accountability. Without any meaningful prospect of enforcement, the ethical codes’ ability to accomplish the goals of punishment and deterrence has become, for all practical purposes, eviscerated.”

5 responses to “QUALIFIED Immunity for Prosecutors?

  1. Phil, Excellent article. Thank you!

  2. Open these links and read the documents and evidence about this corrupt prosecutor in East Feliciana/ West Feliciana Parish Louisiana, and all the people he has intentionally, and maliciously prosecuted. Prosecuting Civil matters as criminal, subjecting innocent people to the criminal justice system. No Due Process! Real criminals and repeat offenders run free! Why are these prosecutors allowed to commit such criminal acts under the color of law, and nothing is being done about them!!! This prosecutor maliciously convicted me and my son for nothing but a vendetta, and documents prove it! But there are so many more in this parish, until you got to wonder how is this man continuing to persecute people this way. And operate negligently as he has. My GOD this man should be federally investigated (FBI) and brought up on charges of malicious prosecutions, wrongful convictions, collusion, racketeering, extortion, aiding an abetting. He is participating in organized crime and in collusion with the 2 judges of these parishes. Can’t some of you at least have a federal authority to investigate this D A??? I have gone to the FBI in baton Rouge (crooked too) to be told to get my minister, of a lawyer to come forward and they will investigate??? Do you think a lawyer would come out on him? Hell No, and No minster would either! And why would you need these if you have this kind of documentation on this public official. PLEASE, PLEASE open these links and read them. Do you know of any media personality that would investigate? Please read these links, and these are just a few of the innocent this district attorney has harmed.

    http://www.stopsamdaquilla.com/

    http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/avoiding-teachers-sexual-overtures.html

    AXJ SAVE Matthew Moore

    http://thechangetheworldmovement.com/2012/05/louisiana-justice-east-feliciana-parish/

    http://theadvocate.com/home/7565356-125/east-feliciana-da-ordered-to

    http://theadvocate.com/home/4386388-125/2-booked-in-clinton-on

  3. Elizabeth A. Benedetto

    The US Supreme Court did not “unwittingly” remove the key accountability mechanism, and did not “unwittingly” contribute to a culture of non-accountability.

    These are typical self-serving policies, practices and procedures and laws instituted by the loyal “brethren” (i.e., those in the legal/judicial club of thugs who take their oaths to serve themselves and their members far more seriously than their oaths to honor the US Constitution, uphold the laws of the land, and to serve the American public).

    They “intentionally” established a well-camouflaged tyrannical form of government in the United States – which serves the lawyers, the elite, the privileged, the powerful, the influential – the important people of the United States.

    We are a third-world country and the American people (including more ethical, moral, unsuspecting people in the legal/judicial industry) have been duped far beyond belief.

    By violating the constitution and other rights and liberties, and by circumventing due process is exactly how the states keep their judicial wheels greased and spinning efficiently and effectively. Prosecutors, judges, public pretenders, appointed agents, et al (not all, of course) are the hubs of the well-oiled creasing machines known as the states’ judicial systems.

    How on earth (or rather WHY on earth) would the states (and the willing brethren) waste their time doing the actual WORK required of them, or expend enormous amounts of time, energy, money, manpower to actually investigate and prosecute a person – when violating the laws of the land, the US and the states’ own constitutions, and circumventing due process is so much easier – and despite whether or not an innocent American citizen and his/her family is so terrorized and destroyed – perhaps even put on death row, or put to death?!

    After all, running a legitimate business takes morals, honesty, good faith, fairness etc. etc.

    But for the states and their agents/assigns, it’s far more economical and simpler to conceal evidence, to coerce pleas, to manufacture false evidence, to tamper with transcripts, to tamper with juries, to say to murder victims’ families and communities, “We got our man!” Everyone’s happy – that is, except the poor innocent American citizen and his/her family who is caught in this type of legal web of deception… the never ending nightmare.

    And in the event a self-governing, self-serving prosecutor, or judge or other state agent or assign (and the shark lawyers being licensed and unleashed by self-serving/self-governing bar associations across the United States) gets caught… voila… the self-serving immunity feature kicks in – and no one’s the wiser.

    Who will oversee these atrocities being committed against hundreds of thousands of innocent American citizens in the United States? Who? What? When? Where?

    Please, let’s face it… American jurisprudence is a figment of our imagination. Justice in America is a farce. The Constitution is meaningless. Hearings, due process, legal representation, trials… and the right to complain…. all a charade. Family courts, drug courts, civil courts, criminal courts… all an abomination.

    By using words like “unwittingly” to describe the self-serving, unanimous decision of the “intelligent,” “astute” US Supreme Court speaks volumes about the relentless and pervasive naïveté rampant throughout the United States… much like the alleged “prosecutorial” misconduct.

    The problems are systemic, obviously starting with the US Supreme Court.

    Can we please get our heads out of the sand.

    • Elizabeth, Thanks for the education in reality. It certainly explains what we’ve encountered and learned over the past decade in our ongoing journey fighting for “actual innocence”, when new evidence, proof of innocence came forward in 2006, a scam for money.

  4. Mrs. B., now, that’s an article (commentary) worthy of publishing and printing. Have you read Mrs, Amy Bach’s – “Ordinary Injustice”? Please contact me. I’d like to arrange an interview. Please consider re-posting your thoughts in the PNG of Texas – forum. Thanks.

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