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In April 2012 the US Supreme Court decision in Rehberg includes absolute immunity for law enforcement officers who present perjured testimony to a grand jury against a section 1983 civil action. Prosecutors already enjoyed absolute immunity under common law, which means they have had the “freedom” to violate their oath, commit perjury and fraud, withhold exculpatory evidence, and practice malicious prosecutions without fear of civil liability. As long as prosecutors function in their “prosecutorial” role they are protected from civil suits by private citizens in federal court! Since Nifong acted outside his prosecutorial role, he could not successfully claim a defense of absolute immunity in a civil case. Furthermore, prosecutors and State’s Attorneys are considered to be an "extension of the State." Therefore, prosecutors are able to claim an 11th Amendment Sovereign immunity defense to dismiss a 1983 civil action against them. Under common law, the 11th Amendment grants States and their agencies immunity from civil suits and bars federal courts from deciding in such cases filed against the State or their agencies by private citizens. Contrary to justice and logic, the US Supreme Court felt that prosecutors needed absolute immunity from committing criminal acts such as perjury and fraud in order to perform his or her “prosecutorial” duties even if their criminal acts ultimately “railroad” innocent people and result in wrongful convictions. Now the Supreme Court feels that law enforcement officers need absolute immunity when they present perjured testimony before a grand jury in order to aid prosecutors in their pursuit to indict an innocent person that they have targeted for the sole purpose of obtaining a wrongful conviction. Since when has the job of law enforcement officers and prosecutors required them to commit criminal acts? Since when has liberty and justice for all given governmental officers and state agencies the freedom to willfully and knowing arrest and convict innocent people and then deny the wrongfully accused and convicted of his or her civil right to file suit against his or her wrongdoers? How can any citizen be safe from malicious prosecutions that derive from indictments that are based on perjured testimony when the US Supreme Court has shielded criminal justice authorities with ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY? My endorsement in the general election for the next Lake County State’s Attorney is with Mike Nerheim.
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Aug 17, 2012