Exoneree John Thompson Asks Department of Justice to Investigate Former New Orleans Prosecutors

08.02.16 By Innocence Staff

Exoneree John Thompson Asks Department of Justice to Investigate Former New Orleans Prosecutors

Exoneree and founder of Innocence Network project Resurrection After Exoneration John Thompson will file a formal complaint today asking the Department of Justice to investigate alleged incidents of prosecutorial misconduct during the tenure of former Orleans Parish District Attorney Harry Connick.

Thompson will ask the department’s Civil Rights Division to review all cases handled by former Assistant District Attorney James Williams, one of the prosecutors who sentenced Thompson to death in 1985 for a murder he did not commit.

Two people convicted under Williams, including Thompson, were later exonerated and two others had their sentences commuted. Thompson said in a statement that prosecutorial misconduct was systemic at the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office for years and that other innocent people languish in prisons as a result.

“That same misconduct obviously didn’t stop at our cases,” Thompson said in the statement. “We were just lucky enough to have lawyers to prove it.”

Read the Times-Picayune story here.

Learn more about John Thompson’s case here.

Related: Exoneree Pushes for Prosecutorial Accountability

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Paul August 15, 2016 at 11:21 pm Reply   

These issues need to be front and center. Having a fair justice system is hard enough with the inherent dilemma balancing rights of the victims vs rights of the defendant. Managing that balancing act in itself is hard enough without these DA offices which prioritize conviction rate above rightful outcome rate.

So often the mantra “If this man is innocent, then that is his own business, not mine–my job is to get convictions” comes all the way from the top, the elected DA, and that guiding principle flows downhill to all the ADAs below him. Absolutely Awful.

Jerry Housser August 6, 2016 at 8:34 am Reply   

My fiance and her 8yr old son had been killed in a fire in North Port FL April 3, 2012. The case had been closed as “Death By Offender”. Her estranged husband, who had a considersble debt in access of some 260,000 owned the home that my fiance and son resided was facing foreclosure. The evidence ( suicide note, hair ) that was discovered by her estranged husband, had never been processed! I had been advocating to have dna performed on the evidence, as I believe will exonerate her.

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