A 5TH U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision allows the family of a teenager murdered in 2017 by former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver to sue him in civil court. Oliver is serving a 15-year sentence for killing Jordan Edwards after he shot into the car where Edwards was a passenger. Oliver claims he is entitled to qualified immunity, which helps protect government employees from litigation. LPHS appellate partner David Coale explains to the Dallas Morning News why qualified immunity is controversial. “A jury concluded that he intentionally, without justification took the life of another person … and there is a serious debate in the federal courts about whether or not a convicted murderer can receive qualified immunity for his actions,” Coale said of Oliver. “That seems jarring. And it seems to illustrate why people have the criticisms that they do about qualified immunity.”
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