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) started looking into Mr. Thompson’s claim of innocence. In the litigation, Parr Brown Gee & Loveless collaborated with RMIC and Professor Jenise L. Anderson, and in March 2017, a Petition for Determination of Factual Innocence was submitted.
The petition cited newly-discovered 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 nearly $300,000 as compensation for the seven years he spent behind bars.
Wrongful convictions take place every day; however, we continue to celebrate our wins and continuously 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 Utah, Wyoming, and Nevada, the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center aims to advocate for clients who have been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for crimes they didn’t commit. At RMIC, we support systemic change to the judicial system and advocacy for those who have been wrongfully incarcerated and convicted to establish their actual innocence for those crimes, as well as obtaining compensation for their time behind bars to the fullest extent of the law.
Contact us today if you’d like to support our cause or need our support.