Daily Archives: November 1, 2011

Highlighting new books at the Law Library, part 7

This week’s installment of the new book series features the story of John Thompson, a man who served 18 years in prison for a crime that evidence originally hidden by prosecutors proved he did not commit.

Killing Time: An 18-Year Odyssey From Death Row to Freedom
By John Hollway and Ronald M. Gauthier
Law Treatises HV8701. T58 H65 2010

John Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death in 1985 for murder.  He served 18 years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, the infamous Angola prison, before he was acquitted in 2003.  The turning point in Thompson’s quest for justice came in 1999, when an investigator hired by Thompson’s lawyers found a report in long-forgotten microfiche, which had been sent to New Orleans prosecutors, concerning the blood type of the perpetrator.  The blood type did not match Thompson’s.  After Thompson was freed, a civil jury awarded him $14 million in damages because of prosecutorial misconduct in his murder trial.  The case was appealed to the Supreme Court.

John Hollway and Ronald Gauthier tell Thompson’s tale in narrative style, re-creating dialogue based on extensive research into Thompson’s case.  The end result is a compelling account of a man who never stopped fighting to both prove his innocence and to hold members of the justice system accountable.  Read the book to find out more about Thompson, and check out the links below to find out how the Supreme Court ruled in his case.

New York Times article by John Thompson about his quest for justice
NPR piece
about the Supreme Court’s ruling in John Thompson’s case
The Supreme Court’s opinion in Connick, District Attorney v. Thompson