Tell Congress to Eliminate Qualified Immunity
Update: On July 7, 2021, a coalition of 29 organizations sent a letter to U.S. Senators expressing concern about the state of negotiations on qualified immunity.
Qualified immunity is a judicial doctrine developed by the Supreme Court in the late 1960s, which shields public officials from liability for misconduct, even when they have broken the law. This doctrine means people can’t hold the government accountable for wrongdoing, such as when law enforcement uses excessive force or engages in other misconduct.
Fully eliminating qualified immunity would allow people, including those wrongfully convicted, to sue for violations of their constitutional rights.
Ron Keine was one of four men convicted and sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of a University of New Mexico student in 1974. He was exonerated in 1976, just nine days before his scheduled execution. The misconduct in his case was so egregious that the prosecutor lost his law license, and several sheriff’s deputies were fired. But Ron’s lawsuit over this misconduct was dismissed because of qualified immunity. “Without this mechanism to hold bad actors accountable, state officials will continue to violate people’s rights with impunity,” he wrote in an op-ed for the Santa Fe New Mexican. “And wrongfully convicted people like me will never be able to achieve some small measure of justice.”
Tell Congress to eliminate federal qualified immunity now! Call 202-949-6846 and we will connect you.