On September 28th, Damon Thibodeaux became the 300th person to be exonerated by DNA evidence. Tragically, Damon, who was just 22 when he was arrested for the murder of his 14-year-old cousin, is also the 18th person to have served time on death row before being proven innocent by DNA. Damon is expected to be released later today after serving the past 15 years in solitary confinement in Angola. Jefferson Parrish District Attorney Paul Connick cooperated with Damon’s legal team on an extensive multi-year reinvestigation of the murder that included numerous rounds of DNA testing excluding Damon as the perpetrator. A prosecution expert also analyzed Damon’s interrogation with the police and concluded that he falsely confessed to the crime largely out of fear that he would be executed.
To mark this momentous occasion, we have developed a public education campaign that we hope you will help us publicize through your websites and social networking channels. We have developed a mini-website about the 300 exonerations at www.innocenceproject.org/300. On this page you will find additional information about Damon’s case, a 300 exoneration infographic that we are encouraging people to share via Facebook and Twitter, videos of exonerees whose cases illustrate the major causes of wrongful convictions and a pledge urging people to take to stand up for the innocent.