Remember state's prosecutor Nifong and his ignoring facts in the
so-called "Duke rape case" when he proceeded to charge the Duke
lacrosse players although the woman who alleged she was raped, had a,
shall we say, suspect story?
Well, based on today's ruling, the Supreme Court would have backed
Nifong's unethical behavior.
death row inmate who sought damages from the state after prosecutors
hid crucial blood tests that would have earlier proven his innocence.
The 5-4 decision Tuesday involved John Thompson, who came within weeks
of execution and had spent 18 years behind bars before being set free
after the new forensic evidence came to light.
At issue was whether a district attorney's office should be held
liable, under a "failure to train" standard, when one of its
prosecutors unconstitutionally withholds exculpatory evidence from a
Then-New Orleans area District Attorney Harry Connick Sr. claimed his
office should not be held fully responsible after one of his staff
attorneys violated long-standing, accepted procedures on handling
evidence in criminal trials.
Thompson's lawyers said the DA's office as a whole should be held
liable for the poor training of prosecutors working under Connick.
"A district attorney is entitled to rely on prosecutors' professional
training and ethical obligations in the absence of specific reason,
such as a pattern of violations, to believe that those tools are
insufficient," Justice Clarence Thomas said. He was supported by his
conservative colleagues Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices
Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito.
Ain't that something? We are a police state. And it's conservatives
leading the charge.