By Alanah Odoms Hebert

When prosecutors prioritize winning convictions over advancing justice and ensuring fair trials, they risk convicting the innocent. Time and time again in Louisiana, innocent lives have been destroyed by wrongful convictions, while the prosecutors responsible have evaded accountability.

John Thompson spent 18 years in prison, 14 of those on death row, before blood test results withheld by prosecutors proving his innocence were uncovered. Reginald Adams spent 34 years in prison before a police report implicating another man came to light. Robert Jones spent 23 years in prison before evidence of his innocence undermining the state’s case was found buried in prosecution files.

Of the 52 Louisiana exonerations listed in the national registry of exonerations, 75 percent involved official misconduct. If not for this misconduct, 39 people may not have been wrongfully convicted.

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