News 02.08.12

Prosecutorial Oversight: John Thompson and His Fight for Justice

In 1984, John Thompson, a 22-year-old father of two, was wrongfully convicted of two separate crimes, a robbery and murder. While facing his seventh execution date, a private investigator discovered scientific evidence of Thompson’s innocence that had been concealed for 15 years by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. Thompson was eventually exonerated of both crimes and a jury awarded him $14 million, one million for each year he spent on death row. The state appealed and eventually the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in Connick v. Thompson ruled that the prosecutor’s office could not be held liable for their misdeeds.

 

This video tells the whole story of the investigation, John Thompson’s wrongful conviction and the struggle to prove his innocence. It is a harrowing story of just how close overzealous prosecutors came to ending one innocent man’s life and how little oversight there is preventing the same situation from occurring again.

 


TAKE ACTION: Contact your state legislators and urge them to strengthen oversight of prosecutorial misconduct and protections for the wrongfully convicted in your state.

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