News 08.06.10

Blood Tests Prove Louisiana Man’s Innocence

The Innocence Project today filed a motion in Louisiana providing scientific proof that a man serving life in prison for rape is actually innocent. The motion calls on the court to free Booker Diggins, who was convicted of rape and armed robbery in 1988 and has been behind bars for 22 years for a crime he didn’t commit.

Before Diggins’ trial, blood-type testing showed that the perpetrator had Type A blood, but Diggins’ blood was never tested prior to trial. The State did not disclose to Diggins’defense counsel that semen was found in the rape kit, and that the perpetrator’s blood type was A. Diggins was not tested before trial in order to compare his type to the evidence.

Although the crime scene evidence has been missing since Hurricane Katrina, serology tests conducted last week show that Diggins is Type O and could not have been the perpetrator. Based on these results, the Innocence Project is calling for Diggins to be freed. In a similar case currently pending before the Supreme Court,

John Thompson

was convicted of armed robbery in Louisiana in 1985 after prosecutors failed to turn over blood evidence that could have exonerated him. Thompson alleged in a civil case that he had been wrongfully convicted as a result of a pattern of prosecutorial negligence and misconduct. Prosecutors are appealing the decision on the grounds of prosecutorial immunity, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in the fall.



Download the full Innocence Project motion in the Booker Diggins case here

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Read more about government misconduct and wrongful convictions

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