COVID-19 claimed the life of a man named Damon Thibodeaux who was wrongfully imprisoned and spent 15 years on death row in a Louisiana jail until being exonerated by DNA in 2012.
In a tweet, the organization stated, “The Innocence Project mourns the loss of Damon Thibodeaux, an incredibly kind and gentle person, who spent 16 years wrongly imprisoned in Louisiana. He was the 142nd person exonerated from death row and was never compensated for his lost freedom.”
The Innocence Project mourns the loss of Damon Thibodeaux, an incredibly kind and gentle person, who spent 16 years wrongly imprisoned in Louisiana. He was the 142nd person exonerated from death row and was never compensated for his lost freedom. https://t.co/WxxBQjlGsv
According to the newspaper, the New Orleans native was arrested in 1996 at the age of 22 while working as a deckhand on a Mississippi barge and accused of raping and murdering his cousin, Crystal Champagne.
According to the outlet, “After more than nine hours of interrogation by police and after denying involvement multiple times, Damon eventually cracked, and gave the police a false confession to the crime, saying, ‘I didn’t know that I had done it, but I done it,’”
“Even though the confession didn’t match the key facts of the crime scene or the murder, and even though there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, he was prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to death based on that false confession,”
After DNA evidence exonerated him of the crime, he relocated to Minnesota. According to the Times-Picayune, “He embraced his new life free from bars, chains, and constant surveillance. He earned his GED and became a long-haul trucker,”
“He traveled the nation and even the world talking about his experience and the danger of wrongful convictions and the death penalty to civic groups and leaders, courts, and legislators,”
How Did Damon Thibodeaux Die?
According to the Star-Tribune, Thibodeaux, who died Sept. 2 after spending a third of his life in prison, moved to Minnesota to rebuild his life as a long-haul trucker and finally landed in Texas with his family.
Damon Thibodeaux, who spent a third of his lifetime on death row for a murder he didn’t commit, was killed by the coronavirus at age 47. https://t.co/zxUGitg0Yy
According to the publication, he was on the road when he arrived in a critical care facility in Jacksonville, Florida, a few days after receiving his first dosage of the Moderna vaccine, and he was expecting to be released shortly when he died.
Shortly before his death, Thibodeaux told his younger brother, “Bro, I’m ready to get out of this place and come home,”
He apparently told him those identical words immediately before he was freed from the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola in 2012. The Times-Picayune issued an obituary for him, “The world lost the infectious smile and joy of Damon Thibodeaux,”
A claim for compensation for his years in prison was pending at the time of his death.
Georgia Sabella is an editor & breaking news reporter for 101biography.com. You can contact her at [email protected]. 101Biography covers trending people’s biographical news. Here you can find news about who is trending now.