X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Martin A. Schwartz

The recent death of John Thompson served as a cruel reminder that even the most egregious and injurious prosecutorial wrongdoing may not be redressable in an action for damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. Thompson was the plaintiff in Connick v. Thompson, 131 S.Ct.1350 (2011). He lost his §1983 action in the U.S. Supreme Court, even though he had been on death row for 14 years and the subject of seven death warrants for a murder he did not commit. Prosecutors in the Orleans (Louisiana) District Attorney’s Office had intentionally failed to disclose exculpatory material in violation of Thompson’s due process Brady rights. Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). He had won a §1983 jury verdict of $14 million, $1 million for every year on death row, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, only to have it reversed by a 5-4 ideologically divided Supreme Court. Connick v. Thompson, supra. The Supreme Court decision has been described as “an exceptionally cruel and disingenuous ruling” (Jesse Wegman, “An Innocent Man Who Imagined the World as it Should Be,” N.Y. Times, Oct. 16, 2017, p. A26), “one of the meanest Supreme Court decisions,” “a master class in human apathy”, and “hyper technical and deliberately callous” (Dahlia Lithwick, “Cruel but Not Unusual,” Slate Magazine, April 1, 2011, www.slate.com).

This premium content is locked for
New York Law Journal subscribers only.

  • Subscribe now to enjoy unlimited access to New York Law Journal content,
  • 5 free articles* across the ALM Network every 30 days,
  • Exclusive access to other free ALM publications
  • And exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications.

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?
Interested in customizing your subscription with Law.com All Access?
Contact our Sales Professionals at 1-855-808-4530 or send an email to groupsales@alm.com to learn more.

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2017 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.