Daily Archives: February 12, 2012
Prosecutorial Oversight: John Thompson and His Fight for Justice
Posted: February 8, 2012 4:00 pm
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.
Texas Judge Recommends Court of Inquiry on Prosecutorial Misconduct in Morton Case
Posted: February 10, 2012 6:30 pm
Left: Senior Staff Attorney Nina Morrison and Attorney John Raley who represent Michael Morton
Today Judge Sid Harle recommended a Texas court of inquiry to investigate possible prosecutorial misconduct by former Williamson County prosecutor Ken Anderson. The Innocence Project, who represented Morton, discovered that evidence of Morton’s innocence was suppressed from the defense at his original trial in 1987 and called for the court of inquiry to review the evidence.
Morton was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and spent nearly 25 years in prison before his release in October. Among the suppressed evidence was a police transcript of the victim’s mother saying that the Morton’s three-year-old son, who witnessed the murder, told her that his father was not at home at the time. The case now goes to the chief judge of the Texas Supreme Court.
Read the Texas Tribune article about the decision.
TAKE ACTION: Read about how the Innocence Project is addressing prosecutorial misconduct through a nationwide campaign here. Then contact your state legislators and ask them to make prosecutor accountability laws stronger in your state! *Source Innocence Blog
Please join us Montana in the nationwide campaign! We need change! TAKE ACTION!