The jury did so, unaware that prosecutors had withheld evidence proving Mr. Thompson could not have committed the robbery. The blood evidence found on the pant leg of one of the robbery victims came from the perpetrator and was of a different blood type than Mr. Thompson‘s. That evidence remained a secret until Mr. Thompson’s attorneys discovered it mere weeks before his 1999 execution date.
It later was revealed that one of the prosecutors, while dying of cancer, told another prosecutor about the evidence that would have exonerated Mr. Thompson, but the second prosecutor told no one.
As a result of the revelation about the blood evidence, Mr. Thompson’s robbery conviction was thrown out. Mr. Thompson testified at a 2003 retrial on the murder charge and was acquitted. He subsequently sued and won the $14 million judgment.
Attorneys for Mr. Connick, who served as district attorney for nearly 30 years and is the father of entertainer Harry F. Connick Jr., appealed the judgment, which had been upheld by an appeals court, to the Supreme Court.