Murell Law attorneys Chris Murell and Meghan Matt, in coordination with Fair Fight Initiative, joined Rights Behind Bars and Baker Botts L.L.P. in filing a Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction on behalf of Jane Doe, a trans woman seeking medically necessary care and safe living conditions from the Georgia Department of Corrections. Ms. Doe has been incarcerated in Georgia since 1992 and has endured significant abuse, including forcefully having her head shaved, abrupt stops to her hormone therapy, and sexual assault. She has repeatedly attempted suicide and has been in solitary confinement since 2019. Ms. Doe has been denied gender-affirming surgery even though three psychiatrists and a psychologist from GDC have determined she requires it. You can read the coverage of the case in The Appeal here.
Murell Law has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Raymond Flanks, who was exonerated after 38 years, 10 months, and 25 days of wrongful incarceration because prosecutors and law enforcement hid exculpatory evidence and used unlawful, manipulative identification procedures against him. Again working with the preeminent New York City-based Shanies Law Firm, we are suing the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Police Department, former detective John Dillmann, and the Orleans District Attorney's Office for their roles in this egregious injustice. Defendant Dillmann has been implicated in three prior wrongful convictions. You can read our lawsuit here.
Data from National Registry of Exonerations shows that Orleans Parish has the highest known wrongful conviction rate in the country and that over 70% of these cases involve withheld evidence, like in Mr. Flanks's case. 96% of the withheld evidence cases were wrongful convictions of Black defendants. If you or a loved one have been wrongly convicted, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Plaintiffs only have one year from the date of their exoneration to file a federal lawsuit.
Murell Law is thrilled to welcome attorney Meghan Matt to the team. Chris and Meghan began working together in 2020 and have collaborated on and off ever since. Meghan comes with a dynamic and diverse background of experience, achieving favorable results for clients in criminal defense and civil rights cases. She prides herself on diligent communication with clients and fits right in with the zealous representation model of our firm. Read more about Meghan here.
In a significant victory that could have ramifications across the State, Murell Law prevailed in a motion to allow a jury to acquit their client in a murder by a 10-2 vote while still requiring a unanimous jury for conviction. Before the Supreme Court's decision in Ramos v. Louisiana, a jury only had to vote 10-2 to convict or acquit. This rule was a vestige of Louisiana's racist history. Now, all convictions must be unanimous. Last month, Chris convinced a judge in St. Tammany Parish that while a conviction must be unanimous, an acquittal can still be by a 10-2 vote. The State is appealing this ruling. If we win, this will have major implications for individuals all over Louisiana.
This fall, we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Sullivan Walter - a wrongfully convicted man who had 36 years of his life stolen by the State of Louisiana. Working with the preeminent New York City-based Shanies Law Firm, we are suing the New Orleans Police Department and Orleans District Attorney's Office for their blatant, egregious misconduct in Mr. Walter's case. You can learn more about the miscarriage of justice endured by Mr. Walter here.
If you or a loved one have been wrongly convicted, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Plaintiffs only have one year from the date of their exoneration to file a federal lawsuit.
Christopher Murell and David Utter recently authored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The brief argue that the Court should hear the case and overturn David Brown's death sentence due to Louisiana prosecutors persistenly hiding favorable evidence to defendants and the Louisiana Supreme Court failing to act.
The Fair Fight Initiative offers to provide free, pro bono representation to anyone charged with any crime under Louisiana's oppressive, draconian abortion restrictions post-Dobbs. Experienced criminal defense attorneys Christopher Murell, Ronald Haley, and David Utter will provide this representation.
Partnering with other civil rights attorneys and organizations, Christopher Murell sues the Governor and the Office of Justice Justice to stop their transfer of juveniles to infamous former-slave plantation, now prison, Angola. These children are to be house in the former death row.
In May 2022, Christopher Murell wrote a friend-of-the-court brief for Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to the U.S. Supreme Court urging their review of an unconstitutional capital conviction and sentence.