She is a rape survivor and judicial reform advocate whose moving story is a powerful testament to forgiveness, rebuilding and overcoming adversity.
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Jennifer Thompson is the Founder and President of Healing Justice, which aims to address the collateral human damage of wrongful convictions to all involved. Jennifer founded Healing Justice based on her experience with a failed criminal justice process that sent an innocent person to prison and left the true perpetrator free to commit additional crimes.
Jennifer’s ordeal with the criminal justice system began in 1984, when she survived a brutal attack as a college student in North Carolina. In 1995, DNA testing led to identification of her attacker and also proved the innocence of Ronald Cotton, who spent 11 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of the crime. Together they co-authored a joint memoir, Picking Cotton, a New York Times bestseller, which recounts their journeys and the tragedy that brought them together.
Jennifer is a nationally-known advocate for criminal justice reform, focusing on the human impact of wrongful convictions, the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, the need to combat sexual violence, and the healing power of forgiveness. She has testified before numerous legislatures, presented before hundreds of audiences, and appeared in both local and national media. Jennifer currently serves on North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission.Co-Author of The New York Times Best-Seller Picking Cotton and Prominent Activist
Books & Movies
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I just wanted to let you know that Ms. Thompson’s presentations yesterday at Wake Tech were a great success! Over 500 students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to hear Ms. Thompson’s powerful and important story. I’ve received so much positive feedback from those who attended. Not only is Ms. Thompson an excellent speaker, she also is an incredibly kind and generous person. She patiently answered student questions during and after her presentations, which was greatly appreciated.Wake Technical Community College
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