As John Thompson waits to find out whether his jury verdict will stand, the numbing parade of improper incarcerations marches past, with new cases in New Orleans being uncovered. Just last month, the Times-Picayune reported on the case of Booker Diggins, convicted in 1988 of armed robbery and rape. Two prosecutors in Connick's office in 1988 "knew that blood and semen had been collected from the victim, along with a blood type that didn't match the woman's." They failed to turn over this information to defense lawyers
Thompson's case was at worst a single prosecutorial failure and does not satisfy the Supreme Court's requirement of a "pattern and practice" of indifference to the rules. They argue that prosecutors should have absolute immunity from suit—that there simply are no circumstances serious enough to allow private citizens to recover damages from the DA's office. This approach is being challenged not only by Thompson, but by a large stable of former prosecutors in amicus filings. The court will hear argument in the case, Connick v. Thompson, on Wednesday.