April 22nd, 2017
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
State of Texas v. Kleinert
Opinion Date: April 20, 2017
Judge: Stephen Andrew Higginson
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
Defendant, a federal task force officer, was indicted for manslaughter after he unintentionally shot and killed an unarmed suspect while trying to arrest the suspect. The district court dismissed the indictment, applying the doctrine of Supremacy Clause immunity. The court held that the district court properly exercised jurisdiction according to the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. 1442, and defendant's assertion of a colorable federal defense; concluded that the district court correctly granted defendant's motion to dismiss because he is entitled to immunity from state prosecution under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution; but noted that, even if a federal officer satisfies every element of the immunity standard, the Supremacy Clause cannot shield the officer from federal consequences, such as prosecution by federal authorities or civil liability under federal law. The court affirmed the judgment.
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