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Imbler v. Pachtman
United States Supreme Court
424 U.S. 409 (1976)
Paul Imbler (plaintiff) was prosecuted for murder by a state prosecutor, Richard Pachtman (defendant). Imbler sued Pachtman for damages in federal district court under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging Pachtman chose to prosecute Imbler despite knowledge that Imbler had passed a lie-detector test and was innocent. Imbler alleged that Pachtman allowed a witness to give false testimony against Imbler and that Pachtman used a police sketch at trial that had been altered to look more like Imbler. The district court dismissed Imbler’s complaint. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that prosecutors are entitled to absolute immunity from civil suits arising out of their official duties. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)
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