John Bradley, Managing Director of Justice on Trial, a non-profit innocence advocacy, announced Monday the launch of a petition to the Los Angeles District Attorney. The petition, “L.A.D.A. Do Your Job! Address Michael Goodwin’s Wrongful Conviction,” asks the Los Angeles District Attorney to “…act on the massive body of documented evidence now in the L.A.D.A.’s possession on this grave miscarriage of justice and correct it.”
Michael Goodwin, who claims innocence, has been jailed since 2001, convicted in 2007 for the 1988 murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson. Goodwin, the creator of the sport of Supercross, and Thompson, a 60’s racing legend, unsuccessfully attempted to merge their stadium racing companies. Thompson sued and won a judgement against Goodwin which prosecutors claim gave him the motive to have Thompson murdered. However, Goodwin had irrevocably placed sufficient funds with a bankruptcy trustee prior to the murders to pay all Chapter 11 bankruptcy creditors, including Thompson.
The investigation, taken up by a homicide detective nearly 10 years after the murders, was fatally flawed with false evidence, some generated by a $1 million reward offered by Thompson’s sister. Key evidence has been shown to have been falsified by the detective and was dropped from the Orange County case, leading to a dismissal, in 2004.
Although Goodwin was recharged in Los Angeles following the dismissal in Orange County, no evidence of any kind has ever linked Goodwin to the murders or killers who have never been identified. Nevertheless, prosecutors alleged Goodwin conspired with the unnamed killers to have the Thompsons murdered. They used and amplified false evidence of prior crimes that never occurred to convince the jury of Goodwin’s “…lack of moral compass…,” wrongly convicting him.
The trial judge, inexplicably, would not permit the strong evidence of other suspects and other crime motives to be heard by the jury. Following the verdict, the jury foreman, in a sworn declaration, explained how the jury arrived at a guilty verdict. He said that the evidence prosecutors put forward of Goodwin’s extreme moral turpitude along with the absence of anyone else who could have committed the crimes brought the jury to the conclusion that, “…if not Goodwin, then who?”
This organization has worked with Michael Goodwin, his attorneys and supporters since Justice on Trial’s founding in 2002. It is our firm belief, based on a massive assemblage of unequivocal evidence, that Mr. Goodwin was wrongfully convicted by two august prosecutors, both of whom unexpectedly left the D.A.’s office in 2012. The appellate court and the California Supreme Court rubber-stamped the conviction, despite compelling evidence in Goodwin’s appeal of an utterly corrupted trial.