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CASE ENTRY

Sampson v. Lambert

After six and a half hours of questioning, mentally retarded man confesses that he, along with a cousin, murdered aunt and uncle in their Douglas County, Neb. home. Physical evidence fails to support confession, so crime-scene commander plants blood. Both men charged with murder; charges dismissed months later after Wisconsin teenagers plead guilty to the crime. Eighth Circuit (2012): The men can sue investigators for coercing the confession, fabricating evidence. Nebraska Supreme Court: The (now-former) commander’s evidence-tampering conviction is affirmed. Eighth Circuit (2018): The county’s insurance company doesn’t have to pony up the $6.6 mil the commander has been ordered to pay the men, as his actions were criminal and the policy excludes such things. (Click here for some local longform journalism.)


Tags: 2018, Eighth Circuit, Evidence Tampering, Insurance

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