March 21, 2019

US Supreme Court strips innocent man of $14m compo

US Supreme Court - Quite happy it seems to let natural justice slide in defence of the establishment.

The United States Supreme Court has thrown out the verdict of a jury who awarded John Thompson US$14 million for spending 18 years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

At different stages of Thompson’s imprisonment he was only weeks away from execution. For 14 of his 18 years inside he was in virtual solitary confinement.

The Supreme Court ruled by five to four that Thompson had not proved a pattern of misconduct in the New Orleans District-Attorney’s Office so was not entitled to compensation.

Thompson was convicted in 1985 of a carjacking, a verdict then used by the District-Attorney’s Office to secure a conviction for the killing the year before of Raymond Liuzza.

But in 1999 private detectives discovered a blood test carried out during the car-jacking case which showed Thompson could not have committed the crime.

A new trial was ordered and Thompson was cleared of both the carjackingand murder convictions. A jury later ordered the District-Attorney’s Office to pay him US$14 million.

The conservative majority in the Supreme Court found nothing in the case persuaded them to reverse legal precedent protecting prosecutors from being sued for anything they do in the course of their work.

The argument that Harry Connick, who resigned as District-Attorney in 2003, presided over an office that repeatedly hid exculpatory evidence did not impress the justices.

Thompsons lawyers argued that they had demonstrated “multiple constitutional violations by multiple prosecutors” in Connick’s office. They said: “If prosecutors’ offices cannot be held accountable under the facts of this case it is difficult to imagine when they would be accountable.”

Leading the liberal minority in the court, Ruth Bader Ginsberg accused the majority, led by Justice Clarence Thomas, of protecting a district-attorney’s office from the consequences of “flagrant” misconduct. But Thomas said the case amounted to a “single incident” where mistakes were made and did not prove “deliberate indifference” by Connick.

Newswarped believes this is yet another example of conservatives closing ranks over criminal justice and the death penalty. The establishment sticks together and looks after its own. It always has.