Utah attorneys are working to free innocent people after receiving guilty convictions.
Cory Talbot, partner at Holland & Hart, explains how a recent verdict was overturned.
Cory and others worked with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center for seven years to exonerate Herbert Landry who was sentenced to five years to life for arson.
Landry fled from Louisiana to Utah after hurricane Katrina. Just before leaving Utah to rejoin his family in Texas in 2006, his apartment building burned down and he was arrested.
Prosecutors alleged he intentionally set the fire using an accelerant. After the Utah Court of Appeals determined last summer that his original trial and appellate counsel’s representation was legally deficient, Landry recently learned that his conviction, along with the order to pay almost $600,000 in restitution, has been vacated and the State of Utah won’t re-prosecute him.
Utah Court of Appeals overturned Landry’s conviction on the basis that he was provided constitutionally deficient representation at trial and on his original appeal.
There are many opportunities for attorneys to volunteer for this kind of work.
Contact Utah State Bar for volunteer information at http://www.utahbar.org/volunteer/.