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A.C. Thompson

Reporter

Photo of A.C. Thompson

A.C. Thompson is a staff reporter with ProPublica. His stories, which often examine the criminal justice system, have helped lead to the exoneration of two innocent San Francisco men sentenced to life in prison and the prosecution of seven New Orleans police officers. In addition to working as a print and web journalist, Thompson has reported extensively for television, serving as a producer and correspondent for the PBS documentary series Frontline. His life was fictionalized on the HBO show Treme.

“They're Not Treating Mom Well”

When the ambulance crew arrived, about 8:20 p.m., Joan Boice was in the TV lounge, face-down on the carpet. Her head had struck the floor with some velocity; bruises were forming on her forehead and both cheeks. It appeared she’d lost her balance and fallen out of a chair.

“The Emerald City”

Joan Boice needed help. Lots of it. Her physician had tallied the damage: Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis. For Joan, an 81-year-old former schoolteacher, simply getting from her couch to the bathroom required the aid of a walker or wheelchair.

Facing a Second Trial, Ernie Lopez Takes Plea Deal

An Amarillo man whose conviction for sexually assaulting a child was reversed after experts questioned forensic evidence used against him, pleads guilty to a reduced charge.

Key Convictions Overturned in Killing by New Orleans Police

In a setback for federal prosecutors, an appellate court tosses the convictions of two former cops imprisoned in connection with the killing of Henry Glover.

After Katrina, New Orleans Cops Were Told They Could Shoot Looters

After Katrina, New Orleans police officers circulated orders authorizing them to shoot looters and "take back the city," but it remains unclear who issued them.

California Governor Commutes Sentence in Shaken Baby Case

California Gov. Jerry Brown today commuted the sentence of Shirley Ree Smith, a 51-year-old woman whose 1997 conviction for shaking her infant grandson to death has drawn national attention.

New Evidence in High Profile Shaken Baby Case

A doctor at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office is challenging the forensic evidence at the center of a 1997 murder trial.

Video: Shirley Ree Smith in Her Own Words

Free, But Not Cleared: Ernie Lopez Comes Home

The case of an Amarillo man, released from prison last week, reflects a larger controversy over the reliability of scientific evidence in child death cases.

Ernie Lopez to Face Charges Again

Despite detailed challenges to the medical evidence, prosecutor says he sees no change in the facts of the case.

Texas Court Voids Conviction in Child Death Case

The court set aside the conviction of Ernie Lopez, whose case we explored in our series on flawed death investigations.

A Far Cry From 'CSI'

The fate of Shirley Ree Smith, convicted of shaking to death her 7-week-old grandson, is in the hands of California's governor. Child deaths can pose special problems for forensic pathologists. Unfortunately, many forensic pathologists aren't prepared to deal with the complexity of such cases.

Gone Without a Case: Suspicious Elder Deaths Rarely Investigated

An investigation by ProPublica and PBS "Frontline" finds the system to examine unusual fatalities often fails seniors, leaving them vulnerable to neglect, abuse and even murder.

The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive

A joint investigation by ProPublica, PBS "Frontline" and NPR looks into nearly two dozen cases in which people were accused of killing children based on flawed forensic opinions and then later cleared.

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