Judge narrows scope of wrongful conviction case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has significantly narrowed the scope of a lawsuit filed by two black men seeking millions of dollars from Council Bluffs and two police officers after being wrongly convicted for the 1977 murder of a retired white police officer.

Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee, of Omaha, Neb., were released from prison in 2003 after the Iowa Supreme Court found prosecutors committed misconduct.

Their lawsuit filed in 2005 claims two police officers violated their constitutional rights. A Nov. 1 trial ended in mistrial in December when three jurors said they disagreed with the verdict.

Judge Robert Pratt, an April 30 ruling, has thrown out all the allegations except for one. He says a jury at a second trial may consider whether the officers deliberately manufactured or coerced false evidence.

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