The Associated Press reports,
The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed worried that allowing people to sue prosecutors who fabricate evidence to win convictions might chill other prosecutions... The case in front of the high court involves two former Pottawattamie County, Iowa, prosecutors, Attorney Dave Richter and his assistant Joseph Hrvol. They are being sued by Curtis W. McGhee Jr., and Terry Harrington, who were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1978 for the death of retired police officer John Schweer. The men were released from prison after 25 years.Or, in short: All the evidence pointed to Charles Gates as the murderer. The prosecutors consulted an astrologer, who told them that CG was innocent. The prosecutors believed that what the astrologer told them was supernaturally true, trumping over any actual evidence. So they hid the real evidence, and used fabricated, fake "evidence" to deprive two innocent men of nearly the entire span of those innocent men's adult lives. But the two prosecutors have a fireproof defense from any criminal charge: they acted "in good faith," sincerely believing in Astrology and its truth. And now the victims of those two publicly employed swindlers may be deprived of even the right to sue those malefactors for civil justice - out of fear that holding future prosecutors accountable will hold them back from doing "their job" in judicial combat against future defendants.
Evidence showed the prosecutors had failed to share evidence that pointed to another man, Charles Gates, as a possible suspect in Schweer's slaying.
They later on denied that Gates was even a suspect, even though witnesses placed him near the scene of the crime and his name appeared in several police reports. He also was administered and failed a polygraph test and the prosecutors themselves even consulted an astrologer about their suspicions of Gates.
McGhee and Harrington filed lawsuits against the former prosecutors, saying as prosecutors Richter and Hrvol had them arrested without probable cause, coerced and coached witnesses, fabricated evidence against them and concealed evidence that could have cleared them.
And this is the payback of Kantian philosophy: reality is not knowable; the best that Justice can do is trial by combat, and in combat nothing counts except the result. Other countries, such as Switzerland, do have justice systems based on the Enlightenment notion of objective fact. We Americans have trial by combat, as was done in the Dark Ages, guided by supernatural forces, only hacking at each other with lawyers instead of halberds. And when the stars or the Gods have spoken, innocent men who have had the better part of their lives taken from them may have no recourse at all.