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Lacrosse players wrongly tried on rape charges sue prosecutor, city

The previous post discussed the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn a lower court's award of damages to a man who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit because of prosecutorial misconduct. The Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that prosecutors are constitutionally obligated to disclose evidence that could prove a defendant's innocence. The Supreme Court also has a history of ruling that prosecutors are immune from liability.

Another lawsuit is making its way through the courts currently that accuses a prosecutor and a city of violating the constitutional rights of defendants that were falsely put on trial for rape while evidence that would prove their innocence was intentionally hidden.

Remember the case of the Duke lacrosse players who were accused by a stripper they had hired for a 2006 party of rape? The alleged crime was reported across the nation. The men never spent time in jail; they had the case dropped against them after it came to light that the prosecutor had hidden key evidence.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the prosecutor in the case gave interviews to 100 media organizations in which he said he was sure the lacrosse players had committed the crime and that it was racially motivated. It turned out that the prosecutor had told the director of the DNA lab to hide evidence that would prove the innocence of the men. The prosecutor was later disbarred.

A federal judge has said that the case can proceed to trial. It shall be seen how far it will go.


Judge Green Lights Suit by Duke Lacrosse Players Falsely Prosecuted for Rape (The Wall Street Journal)

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