An alarming Supreme Court ruling against an innocent man
by Lisa Rea
It is hard to fathom the actions of the Supreme Court at times. This ruling is one of those times. Read the case of John Thompson, a wrongfully convicted man in New Orleans who spent 14 years on death row for a crime he did not commit.
I have written of a case like this previously (i.e. exoneree Greg Wilhoit on Oklahoma's death row) but this case has a different twist. The exoneree was seeking compensation from the District Attorney for the years he spent on death row because a prosecutor who worked for his office hid evidence that would have freed him---a blood test among other things. The Supreme Court ruling (5-4) written by Justice Clarence Thomas states that while there was "misconduct" by the prosecutor (Ginsburg points out there were actually four prosecutors involved), that "did not prove deliberate indifference" by the District Attorney.
An update on Greg Wilhoit
By Lisa Rea:
This is an update on Greg Wilhoit. As I said to Greg's sister, Nancy, I am thrilled to hear of his remarkable recovery since six months ago most of us thought he was going to leave us. But God had other plans. Greg is doing so well in that he is walking (with the help of a walker) when it looked like he would never walk again. We are very thankful. He also has some big news: he was getting married this month in Oklahoma to Judy, a woman he's known for 25 years! Greg will be honored in Texas in October 2010 during an event hosted by the Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing when the organization barnstorms the state with its message of hope and healing as it embraces restorative justice and stands against the death penalty.
Greg Wilhoit: The story of an innocent man
by Lisa Rea
I have a friend whose name is Greg Wilhoit. His story is a remarkable one. He is an exoneree who was freed from death row in Oklahoma after having served time for a crime he did not commit. He was convicted and sent to death row for the killing of his wife. The only incriminating "evidence" which convicted Greg Wilhoit was teeth marks found on the victim's body. Dental "experts" said the teeth marks matched Greg's.
Lisa Rea: Speaking about victims-driven restorative justice at a California prison during Victim Awareness Week
You always learn something when you speak on restorative justice at a prison. This experience was no different. During the week in California called “Victims Awareness Week” I was invited to speak in prison on restorative justice. I brought Cheryl Ward-Kaiser, victim of violent crime and a champion in California for victims-driven restorative justice since the 1990’s. We were a tag team that day which made our presentation all the more powerful. Although the events planned for the week were to teach about victim awareness, few victims of crime were coming to the prison.