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Eighteen Years Behind Bars for a Prosecutor's Misconduct
Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010
Case to be discussed Sept. 8 led the Supreme Court to agree to a rare hearing on the boundaries of immunity for prosecutorial misconduct.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. Aug. 25, 2010 — A breakfast lecture Sept. 8 will feature John Hollway, author of a book detailing the true story of a man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
The breakfast, to which media and others interested in social justice are invited, will take place at the offices of the Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP) at Santa Clara University. The address is 900 Lafayette Street, Suite 105, Santa Clara, CA 95050 (corner of Homestead and Lafayette). Continental breakfast will be provided at 7:30 a.m., with Hollway’s presentation from 8 to 9 a.m.
The subject of Hollway’s book, John Thompson, spent 18 years on death row in Louisiana for crimes he didn’t commit. After a long legal battle, he was proved to be innocent based on the discovery of blood evidence and newly discovered witnesses that prosecutors had failed to turn over. Thompson was awarded $14 million by a jury as compensation for prosecutorial misconduct in 2007, but that award has been challenged by the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office, which has argued to the Supreme Court that governments, like individual prosecutors, should have absolute immunity from lawsuits over mistakes in prosecution. That landmark case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Oct. 6.
Prof. Kathleen “Cookie” Ridolfi, executive director of the NCIP at Santa Clara University, has for the past five years been researching instances of prosecutorial misconduct in California. Prof. Ridolfi will also be at the breakfast and can discuss her work, including an upcoming, detailed study of nearly 700 cases of prosecutorial misconduct in the state.
Students or others seeking to attend this free event can register online at http://breakfastbriefing2010.eventbrite.com.
About John Hollway