The U.S. Supreme Court today declared that former L.A. district attorney John Van de Kamp and his then-chief deputy, Curt Livesay, cannot be sued for the 1980 wrongful-homicide conviction of Thomas Goldstein. An Associated Press report, carried by Salon.com and other sources, says the high court unanimously threw out a federal appellate court decision declaring that Van de Kamp and Livesay, as administrators, did not enjoy the same immunity from prosecution conferred upon prosecutors. Goldstein's case drew national attention in 2004, when he was released from prison after serving 24 years, partly on the word of a jail house informant.
(Photo: Los Angeles Times)
During Goldstein's 1980 trial, his defense was not told that the
informant had received a reduction in the charges he was facing at the
time he made his claim for prosecutors that Goldstein, an ex-Marine,
had admitted to him the slaying of a Long Beach man in 1979.
Listen to a 2008 radio interview with Goldstein. (First 16 minutes of broadcast.)