This is the story of Michael W. Thompson, who was found guilty on two charges of forcible sodomy on May 16, 2008. He was sentenced to two concurrent terms of no less than five years to life in prison.
His convictions were overturned in January 2014, and the State decided not to pursue a new trial against him. In April 2014, Mr. Thompson was cleared of all charges after serving almost seven years in prison.
In 2015, the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center (RMIC), which was co-founded by Professor Jensie L. Anderson, started looking into Mr. Thompson’s claim of innocence. In the litigation, Parr Brown Gee & Loveless collaborated with RMIC and Professor Anderson, and in March 2017, a Petition for Determination of Factual Innocence was submitted.
The petition cited recently found evidence that, when combined with all the other evidence, would prove Mr. Thompson’s innocence.
These findings included the discovery that an expert witness for the State’s prosecution had given testimony that was flawed and inaccurate, making Mr. Thompson’s presence in the state to carry out the alleged crimes, impossible.
In accordance with the Utah statutory law, the Honorable Judge Su J. Chon issued a memorandum ruling on August 30, 2022, granting Mr. Thompson’s petition for factual innocence and giving him over $300,000 as compensation for the seven years he spent behind bars.
Wrongful convictions take place everyday, however, we continue to celebrate our wins and fight for the exoneration of the innocent. Though Michael Thompson cannot regain the seven years he lost in prison, we are pleased that his innocence was proven and he is now a free man.
In Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah, the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center aims to clear innocent defendants who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. At RMIC, we support systemic change to the judicial system, and also chances for those who have been wrongly imprisoned to establish their innocence and get restitution for their mistreatment.
Contact us today if you’d like to support our cause or need our support. Visit our website, or call (801)355-1888 for additional information.