The US Supreme Court has refused to overturn rulings of lower courts and thereby has affirmed that Sheriff Lee Baca can be held personally liable for violence in the prison system he oversees.

The decision not to overturn came after a split decision at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals bucked what was expected by many to be viewed as the precedent, where the Supreme Court ruled that top officials could not be held personally accountable for the actions or inactions of their removed subordinates.

The case now will head back to the 9th Circuit and then onto the trial court where the issue of Baca’s liability will be deliberated. There, the Sheriff Department spokesperson said, it is expected that Baca will be vindicated.

From the CBS Local Los Angeles:

Attorneys for Los Angeles County failed to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn their ruling that Sheriff Lee Baca could be held personally liable for racial gang violence in county jails.

KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports Baca’s lawyers had argued that cannot be held personally liable for the stabbing of an inmate since he had no personal involvement in the incident — an argument which the justices rejected without comment.

Read the full article here.