CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 recently aired a segment on the problem of prosecutorial misconduct and the lack of accountability for prosecutors who deliberately hide evidence.
In the first clip, CNN details the stories of John Thompson and Michael Anderson who were both wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to death row when prosecutors at the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, Louisiana withheld key evidence in their cases. (Read more about Thompson and Anderson’s cases on our New Orleans page.)
The second clip features Anderson Cooper with two legal analysts, Mark Garagos and Sunny Hostin, who debate how prosecutorial misconduct should be addressed. Garagos argues that prosecutors should be stripped of absolute immunity and sued when they commit misconduct. This, Garagos argues, would force district attorneys’ offices to address systemic issues that allow misconduct to occur because their municipalities (who have to pick up the tab) would demand it.
It was John Thompson’s successful suing of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office that led the U.S. Supreme Court to hand down Connick v. Thompson in 2011 which, in a 5-4 decision, reinforced that prosecutors are shielded from civil liability even in the most egregious cases of misconduct. (Read more about Connick and civil immunity here.)
Watch videos of the Anderson Cooper 360 segment below:
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