Prosecutors held to account

The US Supreme Court agreed to dismiss a suit against two Iowa prosecutors after Pottawattamie County, Iowa signed off on a $12 million settlement with Terry Harrington and Curtis W. McGhee, two men who were wrongfully convicted on the basis of coerced testimony.  Former prosecutors Dave Richter and his assistant Joseph Hrvol had claimed immunity from prosecution but, when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, support for this position quickly eroded.

Accroding to the New York Times, “McGhee and Harrington sued, saying that 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. They claimed authorities were eager to charge someone and that they were targeted because they are black.”

Harrington and McGhee were convicted of killing retired police officer John Schweer at a Council Bluffs car dealership in 1977.  The two men were sentenced to life in prison in 1978.

The picture above shows Terry Herrington with his family after being released from prison.

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