Last updated: 3 november, 2009 - 16:18 GMT

Dead Man Talking

John Thompson: a new lease of life - freed from death row, helping others. Photo: Jenny Bagert

John Thompson: a new lease of life - freed from death row, helping others. Photo: Jenny Bagert

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John Thompson is lucky to be alive and here to tell the tale: he lived through seven planned executions before walking free.

Until 2003 John Thompson was a prisoner on death row, spending 14 years in Louisiana’s notorious Angola State Penitentiary.

He had been convicted of first degree murder and attempted carjacking, but always protested his innocence.

He lived through six execution dates but, just days before the seventh, new DNA evidence emerged which led to his release.

His story sounds remarkable, yet wrongful death row convictions are not unknown.

The former Texas State Governor, Mark White, was a staunch supporter of the death penalty but now says the law should be reviewed to stop more executions of innocent men.

After his experience, John Thompson cannot agree enough. He wants to support others like himself and now runs an organisation helping exonerated people adjust to life after wrongful convictions.

Matthew Bannister spoke to John and asked him how it felt to be an innocent man on death row and to live to tell his story.

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