Posted Jan 29, 2013 by Martin Armstrong
The view of the American Justice System is so bad outside the United States that young lawyers take these jobs to make a name for themselves so they can get those big paying jobs. The bad ones get hired like lobbyists at law firms to try to have inside contacts because they have been there so long. But the problems economically with not prosecuting the bankers making them the “Untouchables” who keep blowing us up is not just destroying New York City, but it is causing capital to shift and is one component behind the shift to China as the Financial Capital of the World. The MF Global scandal shows how judges refuse to enforce laws and took investor funds rather than make the bankers return stolen money. That was like a bank robber gets to keep what he stole and the other depositors suffer the loss.
Unless we really reform the legal system eliminating judges who have ever worked for government and removing the personal victories for prosecutors whereby a committee issues the indictments in Washington and not the decision of a individual prosecutor, then without restoring the rule of law you cannot restore the economy. The horror stories of the wrongfully convicted by threatening family members, worse sentences, or death if they do not plead is in itself criminal behavior. That is conduct you expect from criminals.
In an appalling 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed and even strengthened prosecutorial immunity, extending it from personal immunity to a stronger form of agency immunity as well. This means the government can now do anything and they will not be subject to the laws – EVER! The case is Connick v Thompson (2011), where Connick is the former Orleans Parish District Attorney Harry Connick, Sr. (the singer’s father) and Thompson is John Thompson, a man falsely convicted of murder because Connick’s office hid a report that ultimately exonerated him so the prosecutor would not have to admit a mistake. On top of that – they were trying to execute an innocent man to cover up their misconduct.
The prosecutors admitted that they deliberately withheld evidence. There is no controversy over whether they violated the law and their ethical obligations and railroaded an innocent man and they were prepared to legally murder him since he was only weeks away from being executed for that crime he did not commit when the report that proved his innocence was finally discovered and used to overturn his conviction. Is this not attempted murder?
Thompson then filed suit against the DA’s office, showing that Connick had failed to provide training for his prosecutors on the illegalities of withholding evidence. A jury found the office liable for that negligence and awarded Thompson $14 million in damages for the 14 years of his life spent behind bars and facing the death penalty. The appeals court affirmed that verdict. And the Supreme Court overturned it! The reason was insane.
A district attorney’s office may not be held liable under §1983 [Civil Rights Act] for failure to train its prosecutors based on a single Brady violation.
It was only one guy! The problem is you cannot sue for someone else. Constitutional rights are personal. The Supreme Court has made it clear, the government can never be held for prosecuting the wrong people deliberately.
Plaintiffs seeking to impose §1983 liability on local governments must prove that their injury was caused by “action pursuant to official municipal policy,” which includes the decisions of a government’s lawmakers, the acts of its policymaking officials, and practices so persistent and widespread as to practically have the force of law. A local government’s decision not to train certain employees about their legal duty to avoid violating citizens’ rights may rise to the level of an official government policy for §1983 purposes, but the failure to train must amount to “deliberate indifference to the rights of persons with whom the [untrained employees] come into contact.” Deliberate indifference in this context requires proof that city policymakers disregarded the “known or obvious consequence” that a particular omission in their training program would cause city employees to violate citizens’ constitutional rights.
So it has to be an official policy that you will never prove. And it can only be an official policy if they KNEW that the obvious consequence of their actions would be to violate the rights of citizens. So is the argument here that the prosecutors didn’t know that withholding evidence of Thompson’s innocence would violate his rights? Come on. What is law school for? So when a prosecutor deliberately seeks the death penalty for someone he knows is innocent, that is OK. If you even have that thought outside of government it is called conspiracy and that is life imprisonment. So how is it possible for a prosecutor NOT to know what he is doing is a crime when he prosecutes people for things he deliberately does himself?
The 5-4 ruling was Justices Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, and the most ruthless of the crew Alito in the majority. Remember when Clarence Thomas, during his confirmation hearings, talked about those buses full of convicts that he saw go by his office in DC and how, because of his background as a poor young black man, he would show more compassion to their situation because, but for the grace of God, there went he? Right. Great bullshit story. In securities it is call FRAUD to get something by lying.
There is really no hope. We have to start all over again. This is way too far over the hill to fix with band-aids and minor reforms. The government can now throw you in jail, needs no proof, hold you indefinitely, deny you a lawyer, withhold any evidence that proves you are innocent, and execute you knowing you did nothing, and we have the guts to say China violates human rights? Is that not the kettle calling the pot black?