Monday, March 21, 2011
Supreme Court grants cert in yet another prosecutorial misconduct case
The Supreme Court just announced it has granted review in a case called Rehberg v. Paulk which asks "whether a government official who acts as a “complaining witness” by presenting perjured testimony against an innocent citizen is entitled to absolute immunity from a Section 1983 claim for civil damages." The lower court's opinion is available here. As usual, the Supreme Court blog has all the information and links here, including the Petition for certiorari, and all the briefs and replies. Make sure you keep that link handy, since they keep updating it with documents as they are filed. I have not had a chance to read the opinion or the petition for cert so I do not know the details but I have been speculating for a while that after all the prosecutorial misconduct scandals in 2009, the Court has been looking for opportunities to express itself on the subject. It first granted review in the Pottawatomie case which eventually settled, and then Connick v Thompson, for which it heard oral arguments in the fall. Rehberg, is therefore, the third case related to the issue of prosecutorial misconduct in two terms. For previous posts on Pottawatomie go here, here and here. For previous posts on Connick v Thompson, including links to the oral arguments, go here, here, here, here and here.