State of Conviction: Louisiana
Race: African American
Wrongful Conviction: Robbery, Murder
Exonerated Date: 2011
Years Served: 18
John Thompson spent 18 years in prison for a robbery and murder he did not commit, 14 of them on death row in solitary confinement in Louisiana. He was exonerated after evidence covered up by New Orleans prosecutors surfaced after his seventh and final execution date was issued for May 20, 1999. John was arrested for murder based on the false testimony of Kevin Freeman, who had sold the victim’s ring and the gun used in the murder to John. By 1999, an investigator found a report that refuted that John’s blood type matched the earlier robbery. In 2003, a jury took only 35 minutes to acquit John. John was subsequently awarded a $14 million settlement for prosecutorial misconduct in his case, which was overturned by a divided US Supreme Court decision, Connick v. Thompson, in 2011.
Source: Witness to Innocence
Read more about John’s story here.