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Bad Cops are Immune From Legal Punishment Thanks to the Supreme Court

2014-08-28

The Supreme Court has made it nearly impossible to sue a policeman or other government officer even when they commit egregious misconduct.  The Court has limited the victim’s recourse to cases in which the government’s policy was clearly unconstitutional or “every reasonable official” would have known the conduct was unlawful.

So, a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 14 years on death row was unable to collect damages from the prosecutor who failed to provide him with the exculpatory evidence he had obtained before trial.   The unknown perpetrator had left a sample which showed his blood type (and later, his DNA) did not match with the man who was in custody.  The prosecutor made a regular practice of concealing exculpatory evidence.  The Supreme Court ruled that the city government could not be held liable because ” it could not be proved that its own policies had violated the Constitution.”

Law enforcement personnel who commit perjury and district attorneys who commit misconduct have absolute immunity from civil suits.   Remember that next time you talk to a policeman: he can lie to you and there is nothing you can do about it.

And, an eight year old girl who was strip searched because it was suspected that she had a tablet of prescription strength ibuprofen was unable to collect damages: the Court decided that no-one could be held liable for this misconduct.

Finally, a man who was arrested as a “material witness” and held in a maximum-security prison for sixteen days and was then on supervised release for fourteen months, even though the government had no intention of actually using him as a witness, nor even probable cause to arrest him.  The Court indicated that the government could not be held liable for this misbehavior.

There is a pernicious tendency in the Supreme Court which matches its other pernicious tendencies in its malicious effects on American society.  This tendency is to drastically limit the circumstances under which an aggrieved citizen can sue for government malfeasance.  The ability to sue for redress of grievances is one of the few rights that citizens have that could truly correct the malign tendencies of government.

The Supreme Court is the most dangerous retrogressive organization in the world.  We must preserve the Presidency in Democratic hands if we are to avoid further degeneration of this most malignant group.

The point is that, after all is said and done, prosecuting the police officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri or the officers who allowed Eric Garner to suffocate on Staten Island will be a very dicey proposition.

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