April 2nd, 2013
03:54 AM ET

40 years after fire, man to go free

What is it like to be thrown behind bars when you're 16 and told you'll languish there for the rest of your life? All for a crime you adamantly claim you didn't commit.

Louis Taylor knows.

He was convicted of arson in a fire that killed 29 people.

On Tuesday, at a retrial in Tucson, Arizona, he will plead 'no contest' and walk free. After almost 43 years.

Post by:
Filed under: Arizona • Christmas • Courts • Crime • Holidays • Justice • U.S.
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Mary

    Over turning this mans conviction and making resti tution is the only acceptable outcome in my opinion ...

    April 2, 2013 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mary

    Being a racial realist in the 70's it is easy to see how this conviction passed. Today is a whole new ballgame tho, how could they have only offered a "no contest" plea ?

    April 2, 2013 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    Even the Judge who presided over the case said "looking back, he would have not voted to convict"

    April 2, 2013 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mary

    Former inmate who testified that the man confessed behind bars to him, stated that his testimony was false.

    April 2, 2013 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. ronvan

    And just what the heck is pleading no contest? Is that saying I know I am guilty but not going to admit it, or I will accept whatever you say just so I can get out of prison? As in many of these cases, wrongfully convicted, is he going to get money?

    April 2, 2013 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mary

    @ Cnn why can't I say what review panels have stated about the case here in my comments. Anyhow, read the full article and you'll see

    April 2, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mary

    No contest means you're neither admitting guilt nor denying innocence. And no, with that plea he can't seek rest itution @ ronvan.
    Good morning 🙂

    April 2, 2013 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Trial accounts I can find elsewhere are incomplete. Recent news reports illustrate prejudice, which was surely present. I'd like to know more about the evidence that was lost years after the conviction.
    Presence of racial prejudice is not proof of innocence, but if Taylor was not proven guilty, he should be released and compensated.

    April 2, 2013 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    "presence of racial prejudice is not proof of innocence", very true @ Joey. I wasn't implying that was the case each and every time. The evidence is the only thing to be considered in a case, not someones "feelings"

    April 2, 2013 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    @ Mary:
    I didn't mean that you were the source of that implication: much of the media is.
    Taylor has basically spent his life in prison. If he was innocent, just compensation is almost impossible to calculate. Certainly, his prospects for earning money during his lifetime are very difficult to determine, since he was only sixteen when sentenced.

    April 2, 2013 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    Gotcha @ Joey. Unfortunately with the excepted plea of no contest he will not get any compensation.

    April 2, 2013 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    @ Mary:
    I understood completely. If Taylor and his advocates could prove that his trial was unfair, they would probably try to do that, now or later. The evidence was lost.

    April 2, 2013 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |