Daily Archives: October 9, 2011

Albright v. Oliver, 510 US 266 (1994) And Prosecutor Perfidy

It’s a plurality opinion, meaning that there was no majority for any particular rationale, only for the result.  But what does that even mean?

It means Albright gets screwed, because he’s not the government or a bank or an insurance company.  Of course it means that – this is the SCOTUS after all!

But let’s pretend, just for fun, that there’s something more to “the law” than:  the government wins; the bank wins; the insurance company wins.  Just for fun.

Well, go ahead and read the whole thing if you like.  There’s an opinion by Rehnquist.  There’s a concurring opinion by Scalia.  There’s a concurring opinion by Ginsburg.  There’s a concurring opinion by Kennedy.  There’s a concurring opinion by Souter.

There’s a dissent by Stevens.

Jeff Gamso and I discussed this case a few months back.  Jeff seemed to think he knew what Albright meant:

In any event, Albright does not say that it’s OK to obtain a conviction (or even to prosecute) based on false evidence. Just that if it’s a problem, it’s a 4th Amendment one subject to the protections of procedural due process.

Well, that’s more or less what Ginsburg’s concurring opinion says.  But that’s not the holding of the case, is it?

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Filed under financial crisis, Judicial lying/cheating, Striking lawyers, wrongful convictions