Nebraskans’ rights trial set to begin in Iowa

News

November 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Opening statements are scheduled at a Des Moines civil rights trial at which two black men will argue they were framed for the 1977 killing of a white, retired Iowa police officer. The lawyers for Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee are expected to make their statements in a Des Moines courtroom today (Thursday).

Harrington and McGhee, originally from Omaha, Neb., served 25 years in prison after they were convicted of killing John Schweer in neighboring Council Bluffs. They were freed in 2003 when the Iowa Supreme Court found that prosecutors committed misconduct.

Lawyers will argue that Council Bluffs detectives used threats against a group of young car theft suspects to trump up evidence against Harrington and McGhee because of their race and the pressure to solve the retired captain’s killing.