DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

November 21, 2013

About the Law: Be happy you were found not guilty

I was wrongfully prosecuted for a crime I did not commit. Bogus witnesses admitted only seeing me through a rearview mirror. They claimed I did a shooting from my car. They fingered me in a lineup.

There was no other evidence besides victim and witness testimony, which did not convince the jury. I was found not guilty. Can I sue for being wrongfully prosecuted for a crime?

Prosecutors for the most part enjoy immunity from civil liability for their actions. Judges even more so are immune from being sued while acting in their official capacity. That a jury found a person charged with a crime not guilty does not equal a conclusion that prosecutors engaged in misconduct.

To be true, there is prosecutorial misconduct. But the threshold required for a finding is quite high. Even where Louisiana prosecutors were found to have failed to turn over exculpatory evidence in a case leading to a conviction and a death sentence, the U.S. Supreme Court held prosecutors could not be held responsible for damages. Prosecutors are required to release exculpatory evidence.

But in the 2011 case of Connick v. Thompson, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a $14 million lower-court award to the defendant, who had been acquitted in a later trial.

In rare exceptions, for prosecutorial misconduct, there are a few excellent civil rights attorneys specializing in this area of the law.

I bought a new cell phone and the store ran my new and old phones through a transfer process that was supposed to move my contacts and photos from my old phone to the new one. Problem is, ever since, I get texts from people I do not know.

My data and that of another customer got intertwined. The store’s technical support has no answers. I wonder who else has what private information of mine. Texts? Photos? What can I do about this breach of privacy?

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