SCOTUScast 1-12-09 featuring Stephen McAllister

Van de Kamp v. Goldstein

January 12, 2009

Stephen R. McAllister

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 SCOTUScast 1-12-09 featuring Stephen McAllister - MP3
Running Time: 00:9:20

Bio for Stephen McAllister

On Wednesday, November 5, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Van de Kamp v. Goldstein. In this case, the Supreme Court considers the extent of absolute immunity protection for prosecutors. The case arises from the 1980 murder conviction of Thomas Lee Goldstein, which rested on the testimony of a jailhouse informant who had been promised a favorable plea bargain for testifying. This deal was, however, unknown to both Goldstein's attorney and the prosecutor on the case. After being released in 2004, Goldstein filed suit against, among others, John Van de Kamp, who was district attorney at the time of Goldstein's conviction, alleging that he had violated Goldstein's constitutional right to due process by failing to ensure that prosecutors in his office shared information about informants. Van de Kamp sought to dismiss the complaint, claiming absolute prosecutorial immunity; however, the District Court denied the motion, a decision which the Ninth Circuit affirmed, finding that the conduct at issue was not prosecutorial in nature, but administrative. The Supreme Court is now asked to decide whether supervising prosecutors are protected by absolute immunity from liability for purportedly improper training, supervising, or policy-making. Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McAllister discusses the case.


Oral Argument - November 5, 2008:  

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