Showing posts from January, 2020

Professor Dervan Files Amicus Brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Regarding Plea Bargaining and Innocence

I filed my first Amicus Brief with the U.S. Supreme Court last week.  The Brief was filed in support of the petitioner in the case of Taylor v. Pima County, Arizona et al.   The petitioner, Louis Taylor, accepted an offer to plead no contest and go home after spending 42 years behind bars following his wrongful conviction.  As Judge Schroeder stated in the lower court, “He accepted the offer, since his only alternative was to stay in prison and wait for his petition for collateral relief to wend its way through the courts, a process that could take years.”  It should come as no surprise that after over four decades the Taylor case should conclude with a plea.  As acknowledged by the Supreme Court in Lafler v. Cooper (2012), “ [C]riminal justice today is for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials.”  But this case does not end with Taylor’s freedom.  Unfortunately, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that he should now be barred from recovering damages for the alleged