New opinion: landmark civil-rights suit win

“The facts underlying this appeal — many of which are undisputed — are hardly believable.” So begins the Third Circuit’s opinion reinstating Byron Halsey’s § 1983 claims, including malicious prosecution, arising from his wrongful conviction and 22 years’ imprisonment. Halsey falsely confessed. “Except when an innocent defendant is executed,” the court wrote, “we hardly can conceive of a worse miscarriage of justice.”

The case was Halsey v. Pfeiffer. The opinion was by Greenberg, joined by Jordan and Vanaskie. Arguing counsel were David Rudovsky for Halsey and Michael Simitz for the defendants. Oral argument audio here.

That’s the 7th published reversal this month, against only 4 published affirmances.