In 1985, John Thompson, a twenty-two-year-old African American with two small children, was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Ray Liuzza, Jr., a prominent white hotel executive in New Orleans, Louisiana. Thompson adamantly proclaimed his innocence from the beginning and spent years after his imprisonment searching for lawyers who would represent him against the powerful DA's office and district attorney Harry Connick, Sr. But who would fight for Thompson's innocence when he didn't have an alibi for the night of the murder and when there were two key witnesses to confirm his guilt?
Killing Time chronicles John Thompson's eighteen-year quest for exoneration from a wrongful murder conviction. Alone on death row and in solitary confinement for twenty-three hours a day, Thompson lacked the means and the support to seek vindication. Not until Philadelphia lawyers Michael Banks and Gordon Cooney took on his case pro bono did Thompson find allies with the drive, determination, and resources to challenge the system that sought to put him to death. Banks and Cooney struggled to find areas of police and prosecution misconduct in Thompson's previous trials while grappling with their own questions about their client's innocence. After more than a decade of legal battles, diligent investigating and run-arounds with the NOPD and the DA's staff, Thompson's final appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court and all seemed lost. The story of how Banks and Cooney finally unearthed the evidence they needed to set Thompson free will change the way you think about "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
Authors John Hollway and Ronald M. Gauthier, through interviews with Thompson and others central to the case, paint a compelling portrait of life on death row, describe the corruption in the Orleans Parish DA's office, and bring the case up to date as Thompson pursues a civil suit against Orleans Parish, Louisiana.
A revealing, important book that sheds light on how an innocent man can be sent to death row. --Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and The Death of Innocents
This book tells a fascinating and chilling story of one of the most notorious wrongful convictions of modern time. It should be read by anyone who cares about this issue. --Barry Scheck, co-founder and co-director of The Innocence Project