News
April 2, 2013

WRONGFUL CONVICTION: FREE AFTER 42 YEARS IN PRISON, LOUIS TAYLOR SPEAKS OUT ABOUT ENDURING INJUSTICE

AGREEMENT GRANTS FREEDOM TO 58-YEAR-OLD INMATE (Story featured on "60 Minutes")

For more than 42 years, Louis Taylor has maintained his innocence of the 1970 Pioneer Hotel fire that claimed 29 lives. The now-58 year old, together with attorneys from the Arizona Justice Project, has spent years fighting for his freedom on the grounds that, utilizing modern scientific investigative methods, the cause of the fire cannot be attributed to arson.

On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, Taylor was granted his freedom after reaching an agreement with the Pima County Attorney's Office that allowed him to maintain his innocence and avoid a retrial. He was ordered to be immediately released from prison.

"For Louis, freedom has been a long time coming, far too long," said Larry Hammond, founder of the Arizona Justice Project and attorney for Taylor. "Louis has spent his entire adult life in prison for a crime that he didn't commit. The fire at the Pioneer Hotel was a tragedy -- and our hearts, and Louis', go out to the victims and their families -- but no credible expert today could conclude that the fire was arson, let alone that Louis was the arsonist."

On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, Taylor and his attorneys will speak to the media for the first time since his release. They will address the numerous deficiencies in Taylor's 1972 trial, including the evolution in fire science that has now led numerous experts -- including the Tucson Fire Department -- to conclude that the cause of the fire cannot be attributed to arson, and the decades long struggle to achieve his freedom.

WHO: LOUIS TAYLOR, LEGAL TEAM FROM THE ARIZONA JUSTICE PROJECT

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3RD AT 10:00 AM (PHOENIX) AND 2:30 PM (TUCSON)

WHERE: FOR THE 10:00 AM PRESS CONFERENCE (PLEASE ARRIVE BY 9:45 AM)

POLSINELLI SHUGHART
ONE EAST WASHINGTON STREET
SUITE 1100
PHOENIX, AZ 85004

FOR THE 2:30 PM PRESS CONFERENCE (PLEASE ARRIVE BY 2:15 PM)
PICCARRETA DAVIS PC
145 SOUTH SIXTH AVENUE
TUCSON, AZ 85701


For more information, contact:

Cynthia Koluch
Polsinelli Shughart
ckoluch@polsinelli.com
(602) 650-2338

Marianne Trost for Polsinelli Shughart PR
mmtrost@yahoo.com
(480) 225-9367

Andrew Hacker at the Arizona Justice Project
at andrew.hacker@asu.edu

(602) 258-1796.