NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on an exonerated death row inmate's call for a Justice Department investigation into practices at the New Orleans district attorney's office (all times local):
A former New Orleans prosecutor says he never withheld favorable evidence in the case of a man who was exonerated after spending 14 years on Louisiana's death row.
Jim Williams, now a private attorney, issued a brief statement Tuesday afternoon in reaction to a news conference in which the exonerated man, John Thompson, called for a Justice Department investigation of practices in the New Orleans district attorney's office.
Thompson's attempted armed robbery and murder convictions in the 1980s were overturned after crucial blood evidence turned up. Thompson wants a Justice Department probe in to other cases Williams handled.
A man who was exonerated after spending 14 years on Louisiana's death row for murder is leading the call for a U.S. Justice Department probe of the New Orleans district attorney's office. His goal: finding other wrongful convictions.
John Thompson and other advocates for criminal justice reform say state and local officials have failed to investigate and remedy abuses attributed to Jim Williams, an assistant prosecutor in the 1980s under then-District Attorney Harry Connick.
Thompson spoke Tuesday at a news conference. His armed robbery and murder convictions eventually were overturned after it was found that prosecutors withheld crucial blood evidence.
Connick declined comment on Thompson's letter of complaint. Neither Williams nor the current district attorney's office immediately responded to requests for comment.
Advocates for changes in New Orleans' criminal justice system plan a news conference to discuss their request that the U.S. Justice Department look into wrongful convictions.
Among those set to attend Tuesday's event is activist John Thompson, who spent 14 years on death row before he was exonerated in a 1984 murder case.
Thompson and others plan to call on the Justice Department to investigate. They claim authorities at the state and local levels have failed to address widespread prosecutorial abuses.