Causes/Activism, Law

John Oliver Targets Former D.A. Harry Connick On ‘Last Week Tonight’

Oliver cited Connick in a piece on prosecutorial misconduct.

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver has made a name for himself by destroying, eviscerating or [insert headline verb #3]-ing anyone who seems to be aiding injustice in the United States. The deep dives that are the meat of his weekly satirical newscast aim to provoke outrage as much as laughs. So, it was only a matter of time before he dove into the criminal justice system in New Orleans. Oliver took aim at Harry Connick as a part of a piece on the significant power that prosecutors hold in court cases.

After poking fun at an uncomfortable duet that the senior Connick did with his son, Oliver described the former district attorney as “extremely ruthless.” He explained that the D.A. had 25 percent of death sentences issued under his office overturned for improperly withholding evidence.

Connick occasionally playing fast and loose with regards to the rules of proper conduct for prosecutors led to a $14 million judgement against the office in 2007, after former death row inmate John Thompson sued accusing the office of withholding relevant evidence in his case. While lower courts agreed with the ruling, the Supreme Court eventually voted along partisan lines in 2011 to overturn the ruling and free the office from having to pay the judgement.

In an interview with NOLA.com in 2012, Connick defended his tenure as D.A. He said that his run is being colored by a few missteps.

“My reputation is based on something other than a case, or two cases or five cases, or one interception or 20 interceptions. Look at the rest of my record. I have more yards than anybody,” Connick said. “This is what I’ve done. Perfect? No. But I’ve done nothing to go to confession about in that office. At all.”

Take a look at Oliver’s piece below.