Thursday, January 25, 2007

Perjury Lawsuit hearing in East County on Feb. 16, 2007

Can lawyers suborn perjury with impunity?

That is the current public policy. But Maura Larkins has filed a lawsuit to change this policy.

I've put my complaint online. I'll try to scan the exhibits as soon as possible and put them online, too.

Click here to see the lawsuit.

Quote from pleadings:

The crime committed by defendants is particularly harmful to the public good because it involved two law enforcement officers.

In his dissent in Briscoe v. LaHUE, Justice Marshall stated:

"A police officer comes to the witness stand clothed with the authority of the State. His official status gives him credibility and
creates a far greater potential for harm than exists when the average citizen testifies.

The situation is aggravated when the official draws on special expertise. A policeman testifying about a fingerprint identification or a medical examiner testifying as to the cause of a death can have a critical impact on a defendant's trial.

At the same time, the threat of a criminal perjury prosecution, which serves as an important constraint on the average witness' testimony, is virtually nonexistent in the police-witness context.

Despite the apparent prevalence of police perjury, prosecutors exhibit extreme [460 U.S. 325, 366] reluctance in charging
police officials with criminal conduct because of their need to maintain close working relationships with law enforcement
agencies. The majority thus forecloses a civil sanction in precisely those situations where the need is most pressing."

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