“I SPENT 18 years in prison for robbery and murder, 14 of them on death row,” John Thompson starts his stirring op-ed piece in this past Sunday’s New York Times.
More than 25 years ago, a Louisiana jury convicted Thompson of capital murder largely off the testimony of a suspect who sold him a stolen ring and the murder weapon. Thompson’s blood did not match the blood recovered from the murder scene. Prosecutors knowingly concealed this key evidentiary item.
Thompson’s op-ed is a hell of a tale and damning in its implications. The miscarriage of justice Thompson introduced the nation to spits in the face of all who believe in Louisiana’s criminal justice system. It also adds fuel to the anti-death penalty movement.
And it’s not like Thompson’s ordeal is unique. Of the six men one of his prosecutors got sentenced to death, five were freed due to prosecutorial misconduct, he noted.