June 2011

In Connick v. Thompson, the Supreme Court reversed both the federal district court and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to hold that a District Attorney could not be held liable for failure to train his prosecutors regarding their obligation to turn over exonerating evidence to defense attorneys.  In a 5 to 4 decision divided on ideological lines, the Court held that, in order to recover damages for civil rights violations by prosecutors, plaintiffs must demonstrate a “pattern of violations” similar to the violations that are the subject of their case.  This holding will make it much more difficult for victims to be compensated for wrongs committed against them by municipalities.

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