Fact of the Day: Clarence Thomas is really mean. -Slate
John Thompson was convicted of murder in 1985, and spent 18 years in prison (14 on death row) awaiting execution. Weeks before his execution, investigators discovered that Thompson’s prosecutors withheld evidence proving his innocence.
Thompson’s convictions were overturned by a district court and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. But Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, rejected the lower courts’ verdict. Thomas wrote that a district attorney cannot be held responsible for the act of a single prosecutor (although if you read the full article, you’ll see that this is a moot point.)
Both Thomas and Scalia have produced what can only be described as a master class in human apathy. Their disregard for the facts of Thompson’s thrashed life and near-death emerges as a moral flat line.
The Court has created a perfect Catch-22, since the courts already give prosecutors absolute immunity for their actions as prosecutors (though they may still be liable for their conduct as administrators or investigators). By immunizing their bosses as well, the court has guaranteed that nobody can be held responsible for even the most shocking civil rights violations.
The law awards no extra points for being pitiless and scornful. There is rarely a reason to be pitiless and scornful, certainly in a case of an innocent man who was nearly executed. It leads one to wonder whether Thomas and Scalia sometimes are mean just because they can be.
This is horrifying, and a further reminder of the dangers of a conservative-controlled Supreme Court. They are not in the media as frequently as the other two branches of government, but the judiciary has huge power in the cases that come before it.
There is also an article on HuffPost