The New York Times wrote a scathing editorial Tuesday accusing the New Orleans district attorney’s office of “a culture of negligence and outright dishonesty.”
The Times writes that in dozens of cases, largely under former District Attorney Harry Connick, Sr., the office failed to turn over material to defense lawyers that would have helped their clients.
In particular, the Times writes that the case of John Thompson, who spent 14 years on death row before it was revealed that prosecutors had lied about a report, was one of only many cases “in which New Orleans prosecutors disregarded their constitutional duties.”
In 2011, a narrow U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned a potentially crippling $14 million judgment against the DA’s office.
More recently, the Times also acknowledged a case that came to light last month, when prosecutors turned over a 19-year-old memo that contradicts a key argument in a kidnapping and rape case against Robert Jones.