The Kind of Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Mickey Thompson Murder Case is a National Problem, 149 Exonerations in 2015.
For 15 years, Justice on Trial has been an advocacy for the wrongfully accused. The non-profit advocacy organization is proud to report that, working with several attorneys in 2004, was instrumental in having the double murder charges against Michael Goodwin dismissed by California’s 4th Appellate District Court.
Michael Goodwin, the creator of the sport of Supercross, had been charged in 2001 with the 1988 murders of racing legend Mickey Thompson and his wife. Working with Goodwin, attorneys and legal professionals, Justice on Trial was able to show that the prosecutor’s lead evidence was false, causing the Orange County District Attorney to drop that evidence. The Appellate Court dismissed the case and admonished the District Attorney for ever having brought charges in Orange County.
Although Los Angeles repeatedly decline to prosecute Goodwin because of “insufficiency of evidence,” the D.A. there was somehow persuaded to file charges against Goodwin before he could be released from the Orange County jail in 2004. Goodwin has always claimed innocence and there has never been any evidence connecting him with the murders in any way. Although the Los Angeles D.A. claimed there was new evidence, the very same evidence that had been used in Orange County was used to re-charge Goodwin.
After years of obfuscation by the L.A.D.A., Goodwin now has ample evidence to show his trial was manifestly unfair and that he was wrongfully convicted. There are hundreds of pages, mostly public record, showing prosecutorial, judicial and law enforcement malfeasance and misconduct. Goodwin has presented this evidence to the L.A.D.A., Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Orange County District Attorney and other agencies and official involved in his wrongful conviction. The results of a year-long investigation by the L.A. Sheriff’s Department have not been revealed. The evidence of Goodwin’s wrongful conviction has been presented to the L.A.D.A.’s newly formed “Wrongful Conviction Unit,” that has been largely silent.
Justice on Trial has been collecting signatures on a petition that demanding that the L.A.D.A. address this obvious wrongful conviction immediately. The prosecutors responsible for the fatally flawed 2006 trial left the D.A.’s office unexpectedly in 2012, soon after the newly elected D.A., who had as a campaign platform plank, cleaning up the D.A.’s office, was sworn in.
Both Orange County and Los Angeles have experienced many other prosecutorial misconduct cases and, nationally, on February 12, 2016, the New York Times reported that, citing figures from the National Registry of Exonerations, 149 people have been exonerated in 2015, the highest total since, 1989. Although not all such exonerations are counted, the Times reports 1733 exonerations have occurred since 1989 when the grim annual statistics on wrongful convictions began.
The Los Angeles District Attorney needs to address the massive evidence of Goodwin’s wrongful conviction immediately. He has been in jail for 15 years for a crime he claims he did not commit and, despite the 2007 conviction, there is no evidence that he was involved in any way with the murders.