Saturday, September 29, 2012

Damon Thibodeaux: Innocence Project announces release of 300th exoneree; On Death Row 15 years; DNA saved him; DA Connick praised.

STORY: Innocence Project announces "Louisiana man on death row for 15 years becomes 300th person exonerated by DNA evidence.

GIST:  "New Orleans, LA; Damon A. Thibodeaux, who has been on death row in Louisiana since October 1997, was exonerated today of the murder and rape of his 14-year old step-cousin, Crystal Champagne, making him the 300th person to be exonerated by DNA evidence in the U.S.  District Attorney Paul Connick, Jr. joined the Innocence Project and Thibodeaux’s other counsel in agreeing to overturn Thibodeaux’s conviction and death sentence after DNA and other evidence proved that he had not committed the crime for which he had been coerced into falsely confessing.........“Like the other 299 DNA exonerees, there is no question that Mr. Thibodeaux suffered terribly because of the faults in the criminal justice system,” said Barry Scheck, Co-Director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with the Cardozo School of Law.  “But the incredible cooperation that we have received from District Attorney Connick is a powerful illustration of how transformative DNA evidence has been to the criminal justice system.  District Attorneys now recognize that the system doesn’t always get it right, and many, like District Attorney Connick and his team, are committed to getting to the truth. This case can serve as a model to other district attorneys around the country who are interested in developing conviction integrity units to review old cases......... Assisted by several DNA and world-class forensic scientists, homicide and police interrogation methods expert Thomas Streed, PhD, and private investigators, they obtained evidence demonstrating that Thibodeaux was not the murderer, that the victim had not been raped, and that she had also not been murdered in the manner that Thibodeaux had described after some nine hours of interrogation."

The entire release can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.