High Court Agrees To Hear Prosecutor Immunity Case


The Supreme Court has agreed to rule on a Louisiana dispute that could be an important test of prosecutorial immunity in a death penalty case, reports the National Law Journal. In Connick vs. Thompson, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed a verdict that awarded accused murderer John Thompson $14 million for the district attorney’s failure to train its lawyers about so-called Brady violations, a failure that led to his wrongful conviction and death sentence in 1985.

Current Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizaro Jr. argues that the appellate decision “exposes district attorney’s offices to vicarious liability for a wide range of prosecutorial misconduct.” The National District Attorneys Association says that liability based on a single failure-to-train claim creates the “alarming prospect” that the strong tradition of prosecutorial immunity will be eroded. The new case will be argued in the high court term beginning in October.

Comments are closed.