Unable to get a lawyer (or anyone) to look at the case
While prisoners have a theoretical right to petition the courts to review their case, that right means nothing if the prisoner cannot get a court to pay attention to his or her case.
No innocent prisoner that we know of in Louisiana or Mississippi has won his or her freedom without outside help. The reality is that, even if you are innocent, you will stay in prison unless you can get a lawyer to help you. And the overwhelming majority of state prisoners in Louisiana and Mississippi cannot afford a lawyer to represent them. Even if they could afford to pay a lawyer to review their case, none could afford to pay for the thousands of hours of investigation and litigation that it takes to bring an innocent prisoner home.
All of the clients that IPNO has exonerated have tried, unsuccessfully, to get a court or courts to review their conviction before they had the help of IPNO. All were unsuccessful because they did not have a lawyer.
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