The Supremes hear an oral argument, today, that addresses the unfettered right of prosecutors to frame suspects in criminal cases--or, as the prosecutors frame the issue, "there is no-freestanding right not to be framed."
Council Bluffs, Iowa County prosecutor David Richter participated in the framing of two black men who were sentenced to life without parole for the shotgun murder of a white man. The suspects Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee were innocent, weren't there, didn't do it--someone else did, probably a white guy. But Richter was running for office and needed to convict someone of the crime and these two recent high school grads from across state lines fit nicely. So Richter and the cops coached a 16 year old (criminal) on the facts to act as their star witness and an all white jury convicted Harrington and McGhee. After 25 years in prison Harrington and McGhee were exonerated and released from Prison, now former Bush-administration Solicitor General, Paul Clement, is trying to sue Richter, et al.
But, prosecutors are immune from lawsuit for framing innocent people. "Huh?! Are you freaking kidding me, Bad Lawyer." I kid you not.
For more details and analysis I yield the floor to NPR's Nina Totenberg http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120069519