Glenn Reynolds has a post on the unraveling of the Central Park Jogger muggings. Glenn makes the point that there should be real compensation for folks unjustly imprisoned for a crime.
That leads me to a thought I had last night as I watched Dustin Hoffman perform as Lenny Bruce in Lenny (1974). The despicable violation of Lenny's First Amendment rights combined with the recent rave prosecutions and the Houston K-Mart arrests really got me thinking about a current problem with the justice system.
Namely, there are no consequences for poor prosecution. A policeman can arrest someone and a prosecutor can prosecute them and the worst thing that is likely to happen is for the policeman to have a citizen complaint added to his record and the prosecutor might face a small snag getting elected the next time. Federal liability cases under 1983 face a very high immunity standard and generally fail in all but the most egregious violations. Maybe it is time for a winner take all situation where defendants found not guilty get punitive damages?
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