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The Boston Globe

Nation

Judge vacates verdicts in post-Katrina killings

Orders new trial for five officers convicted in 2011

NEW ORLEANS — Citing “grotesque prosecutorial misconduct” on the part of federal lawyers here and in Washington, a judge Tuesday threw out the 2011 convictions of five former police officers who had been found guilty in a momentous civil rights case of killing two citizens and engaging in an extensive cover-up in the days after Hurricane Katrina.

In a 129-page decision, Judge Kurt D. Englehardt of US District Court here declared that federal prosecutors had created a “prejudicial, poisonous atmosphere” in making anonymous online comments before and during the trial at nola.com, the website of The Times-Picayune, and ordered a new trial for all five officers.

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