HOUSTON (June 13, 2008) – Sutherland announces its pro bono client, Ronald Gene Taylor, has today been granted a full pardon by Texas Governor Rick Perry ending a 15-year battle to declare his innocence for a wrongful conviction.
Mr. Taylor was arrested and incarcerated in 1993 for the alleged rape of a woman in Houston. In May 1995, he was sentenced to 60 years in prison. He appealed and the appeal was denied. In October 2007, maintaining his innocence after more than 14 years in prison, he was released after DNA testing proved he was not the attacker.
Despite being released from prison, Mr. Taylor was still considered a convicted felon and sex offender, and thus was limited in exercising his constitutional rights such as voting and was required to register as a sex offender. Since November 2007, Sutherland Litigation Partner Steven L. Roberts has represented Mr. Taylor, seeking to fully exonerate his name by filing the application for pardon. “Mr. Taylor has maintained and proven his innocence," said Mr. Roberts. “He deserves to live the life of all innocent Americans."
Retired Litigation Partner and former head of Sutherland’s pro bono department Charles T. Lester Jr. and Corporate Partner David A. Zimmerman, both in the firm's Atlanta office, worked on the matter as well. "This case continues Sutherland’s long legacy of pro bono work," said Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman.
Currently, Mr. Taylor resides in Atlanta, is married and owns a lawn care business.
SUTHERLAND ASBILL & BRENNAN LLP Sutherland is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to approximately 500 lawyers handling matters in every part of the world. Seven major practice areas — corporate, financial services, energy and environmental, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and tax — provide the framework that contains an extensive range of specialty areas, allowing its lawyers to serve a diverse client base that includes a number of Fortune 500 companies.