Exoneree to advocate nationally against prosecutorial misconduct
October 27, 2011
USA TODAY's Kevin McCoy has submitted this post.
By Jennifer S. Altman for USA TODAY
A New Orleans man who narrowly escaped a death sentence for a murder he didn't commit will join a nationwide tour aimed at halting the prosecutorial misconduct that almost took his life, legal advocacy groups say.
John Thompson was freed 18 years after his conviction because defense lawyers discovered that the prosecutors in his case deliberately hid blood evidence that could have cleared him. Though Thompson initially won a $14 million judgment, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision and ruled that prosecutors have absolute legal immunity for their official actions.
The advocacy groups, which cite a 2010 USA TODAY series of stories that spotlighted prosecutorial misconduct, say they would join Thompson in meeting with prosecutors, judges, law schools and bar disciplinary officials.
Thompson says he is joining the tour organized by the New York-based Innocence Project, the Northern California Innocence Project's Veritas Initiative and other groups because the U.S. system of justice "cannot correct itself" without outside prompting.
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