Court: Wrongly imprisoned man can sue LA County
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An appeals court has ruled that a man who spent 24 years in prison before his murder conviction was thrown out can sue Los Angeles County.
Thomas Goldstein was convicted in 1979 based on the testimony of a jailhouse informant. He was released in 2004 and sued, saying prosecutors failed to reveal the informant had previously received favors for testifying.
While the case was pending the U.S. Supreme Court ruled prosecutors could not be held liable in such cases, so a district court dismissed Goldstein’s suit.
But on Wednesday the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it could move forward, saying the issue was not prosecutors’ misconduct but an administrative failure by the county, which should have established an index of informants and favors to share with defense attorneys.