The Innocence Network Files Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court to Reverse Crawford Conviction

The Innocence Network, the leading national advocate for the wrongfully convicted, has filed an amicus brief in the case of Rodricus Crawford, asserting that the victim’s death resulted not from suffocation, but from a fatal illness. The Innocence Network explains that the prosecution’s evidence was based on biased witnesses and junk science. In fact, the well-established medical literature strongly indicates that the victim died of sepsis as caused by pneumonia, and that simple tests could have proven that at trial. The Innocence Network urges the Supreme Court to reverse Mr. Crawford’s conviction and death sentence.

PJI in the Community: 5 Years of Preserving Life on Death Row

PJI and LCADP hosted an event to celebrate 5 years without executions in Louisiana. The event raised a toast to all of the allies and partners who have worked hard to end capital punishment in Louisiana, spoke with community members about the next steps toward abolition, and sent messages of hope to incarcerated men and women fighting for their lives on death row.  


PJI Amicus Brief: Brumfield v. Cain

PJI filed an amicus brief in Brumfield v. Cain, observing that Brumfield would be the only person in Louisiana who did not receive a full and fair hearing on his claim of intellectual disability on direct appeal or in state post-conviction.  When Brumfield received a hearing in federal court, the federal judge found that Mr. Brumfield was a person with intellectual disability.  The State of Louisiana successfully argued to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that Mr. Brumfield should be executed anyway.  The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case, which is scheduled to be argued this spring and decided this summer.

Loyola University's National Lawyers Guild Holds Panel on the Death Penalty

On March 2, 2014, Cecelia Kappel and Sidney Garmon opened a week's worth of discussions on the death penalty sponsored by Loyola University's National Lawyers Guild.  The panel addressed current issues surrounding the death penalty including lethal injection, the arbitrary nature of the death penalty, some of the most concerning aspect of death qualification for juries, and legislative developments. 

Sidney Garmon commented on the panel by saying "The students of Loyola University join students across the country in a week of advocacy against the death penalty. They understand the death penalty’s years are numbered. I trust their education and advocacy efforts will have ripples in the community and reach the ears of our elected officials."


Supreme Court Petition- Hoffman v. Cain


Issue: (1) Whether, when evaluating if a state court’s decision is based upon an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence before the state court under 28 § U.S.C. 2254(d)(2), the clear and convincing standard of Section 2254(e)(1) governs the determination of unreasonableness; (2) whether the state court decision, finding no deficient performance, constituted an unreasonable application of Strickland v. Washington under Section 2254(d)(1); and (3) whether the lower court misapplied Harrington v. Richter to preclude de novo review where there was uncontested evidence sufficient to rebut the Richter presumption and both parties agreed that the claims were not adjudicated by the state court.