Board of Directors
Jennifer Thompson, Board President
Jennifer is the Founder of Healing Justice and Chair of the Board of Directors and lives in Chapel Hill, NC. She is a rape survivor from a case involving a wrongful conviction and is co-author of the New York Times Bestseller, Picking Cotton. Jennifer presents frequently to various audiences across the country, including colleges, law schools, judicial conferences, and state legislatures, about sexual violence, judicial reform, and eyewitness misidentification. She is a Member of the North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission, the Advisory Committee for Active Voices, and the Constitution Project's Death Penalty Committee. Her op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, the Durham-Herald Sun, and the Tallahassee Democrat. To learn more about Jennifer's story, visit www.pickingcottonbook.com.
Frank Baumgartner, Board Treasurer
Frank lives in Chapel Hill, NC, and is a professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he holds the Richard J. Richardson Distinguished Professorship and has taught since 2009. He is the author of many books and articles, particularly on criminal justice and the death penalty. His book, The Decline of the Death Penalty and the Discovery of Innocence, published in 2008, focused on how shifting public and media understandings of the death penalty have transformed the debate, leading to a decline in public acceptance of the death penalty and a reduction in its use. Frank has also written on aspects relating to race and criminal justice and is currently working on a book relating to North Carolina’s death penalty, as well as analyses about the concept of “Driving While Black,” based on large-scale statistical studies of more than 18 million traffic stops in North Carolina since 2000.
Kimberly Cook, Board Secretary
Kimberly lives in Wilmington, NC, and teaches Sociology and Criminology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has been a Fulbright Scholar at the Australian National University where she studied Restorative Justice and is a restorative justice practitioner. Her current research focuses on original crime victims/survivors in wrongful conviction cases, using in depth interviews to document their experiences, their needs, and their perceptions of justice reform.
Cindy lives in Grand Rapids, MI, and is an award-winning Speech and Language Pathologist. She is now retired, but she loved her 29 years as a public school “Speech Teacher,” particularly her work with children with special needs. Cindy has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including as a founder and chairperson. She also founded and currently leads more than 100 "Women Who Care," a group designed to streamline fundraising in Michigan. In addition to her work for Healing Justice, Cindy is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Humanity for Prisoners, which serves as an advocate for prisoners with special needs.
Lamonte lives in Greensboro, NC, and is an exoneree. He was born in New York, but grew up in Greensboro, where he graduated from Dudley High School. He attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education, Health and Recreation in 1975. He taught school in New York before relocating back to Greensboro and switching careers to become a successful car salesman. In 1994, Lamonte was wrongly convicted of murder based on flawed forensic evidence and official misconduct. He spent 17 years wrongly imprisoned before being exonerated by DNA evidence in June 2012. Lamonte received a full pardon in December 2013 and went on to graduate from Wake Tech Community College’s Substance Abuse Certificate Program in July 2014, which prepared him to work with others struggling with addiction.
Herman lives in San Diego, CA, where he is pursuing his law degree. Herman spent 12 years in prison for a rape he did not commit and was exonerated in 2000 when DNA evidence confirmed his innocence. Originally from South Central Los Angeles, Herman earned an Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree and before beginning law school. His experience with a wrongful conviction is documented in a memoir, Wrongfully Convicted: An Innocent Man’s Inspiring Story From Jail to Justice.
Lara lives in San Francisco, CA, is a law professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law where she directs the Criminal & Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinics. From 2012-2015, Lara was the director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent. Before that, Lara was a deputy federal public defender in Los Angeles and a law clerk to the Honorable Harry Pregerson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Lara is a contributing writer for Slate and Politico Magazine. Her op-eds and essays have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, among other media outlets. Lara is the author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction.
Garnetta lives in Glen Allen, VA, and is the family member of an exoneree. She is a licensed Realtor and Real Estate Entrepreneur. Garnetta procures distressed properties and rents to low income families in Richmond, Henrico, and Hanover. She does most of the work during the renovation phase herself and serves as the Property Manager for seven properties. Garnetta has an Associate Degree in Business from J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College and will enroll this fall in Old Dominion University to seek her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration concentrating in Real Estate. Garnetta is the sister of Marvin Anderson, who was wrongly convicted in Hanover, VA, of a rape he did not commit and who was fully exonerated by DNA evidence after spending 15 years in prison and four years on parole. The Anderson family stood by Marvin throughout his ordeal and continually advocated on his behalf until his exoneration.
Anne lives in Richmond, VA. She has her PhD in Social Work and is a Project Manager at Virginia Department of Social Services, in the Division of Family Services. Prior to this position, Anne was assistant Dean at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Social Work, from 2010 to 2014. Before joining VCU, Anne was the Director of Social Services in Louisa County and the Deputy Director of Social Services for the City of Richmond.