The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that John Thompson, who spent 14 years on Louisiana's death row awaiting execution for a 1984 murder, will be able to retain the $14 million he was awarded from by a jury last year, The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans reported.
"The 5th Circuit stood up and said, 'No, we will not stand for this,'" Thompson told the newspaper by telephone this weekend.
A jury ordered the Orleans Parish district attorney's office to give Thompson $1 million for each of the years he spent on death row for the murder of hotel executive Ray Liuzza during a 1984 New Orleans holdup -- a conviction for which he was later acquitted.
Thompson's defense team learned that an assistant to a former district attorney had confessed while dying of cancer that he had suppressed a lab report exonerating Thompson.
A spokeswoman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said he not reviewed the 5th Circuit's full opinion and planned to meet with attorneys who have been handling the Thompson case, The Times-Picayune reported.