Loyola Project For The Innocent Client Proves Factual Innocence With Help Of Attorneys At Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
LOS ANGELES – Loyola Project for the Innocent (LPI) client Andrew Leander Wilson has received a finding of factual innocence of the crime for which he was wrongfully convicted and spent 32 in prison thanks to a Feb. 22, 2021 ruling by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Laura F. Priver, secured with the help of attorneys at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.
The move comes after the L.A. District Attorney’s Office filed a letter with the court stating that “Mr. Wilson has met his legal burden to prove his claim by a preponderance of the evidence.” Wilson was originally released on Thursday, March 16, 2017 from the Men’s Central Jail after the DA’s Office announced it no longer had confidence in Wilson’s conviction and the court overturned his conviction and ordered him released from custody. At the time, the DA’s Office also stated its intent not to re-try Wilson, who was originally arrested on Dec. 2, 1984 for a murder that allegedly occurred on Oct. 23, 1984.
“Mr. Wilson has maintained his innocence from the day he was arrested in 1984. He has never wavered and never stopped fighting to prove his innocence,” said Paula Mitchell, Legal Director of the Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Project for the Innocent, and counsel for Wilson. “We are all extremely grateful to the assistance we received from Munger Tolles & Olson’s incredible team of attorneys, who stepped in to help us obtain Mr. Wilson’s finding of innocence.”
Munger Tolles attorneys worked tirelessly to assist in establishing factual innocence for Wilson, who since his release has dedicated his life to help others impacted by wrongful convictions.
“Fighting to clear Andy’s name was an enormous privilege,” said Dane Shikman, a Munger Tolles lawyer representing Wilson. “The criminal justice system failed him catastrophically, just as it has failed so many others. But Andy is special, even after this profound injustice he lights up every room he enters with his positivity, wit, and grace. I am thrilled to see what great things he will do with his life now that he has been declared innocent.”
About the Loyola Project for the Innocent
The Project for the Innocent (LPI) at LMU Loyola Law School pursues claims of actual innocence on behalf of those wrongfully convicted of crimes. Students work under the supervision of founder Laurie Levenson, David W. Burcham Professor of Ethical Advocacy; Legal Director Paula Mitchell; Program Director Adam Grant and other supervising attorneys. Since 2011, the LPI has secured the release of 12 clients seeking justice after wrongful convictions. They include Emon Barnes (2020 release after 19 years in prison); Jane Dorotik (2020 release after 20 years in prison); Johnathon Ramos (2020 release after 8 years in prison); Janet Dixon (2020 release after nearly 40 years in prison); Michael Tirpak (2019 release after 25 years in prison); Maria Mendez (2018 release after 11 years in prison); Jaime Ponce (2017 release after 19 years in prison); Marco Contreras (2017 release after 20 years in prison); Andrew Leander Wilson (2017 release after 32 years in prison), Kash Delano Register (2013 release after 34 years in prison), and Obie Anthony (2011 release after 17 years in prison). Learn more at www.lls.edu/ProjectfortheInnocent.
About Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
For more than 55 years, Munger, Tolles & Olson has been a full-service law firm known for trying bet-the-company cases and negotiating deals that shape our corporate landscape. Our nearly 200 lawyers represent clients in a broad range of complex and high-profile matters in the areas of corporate, litigation, real estate and financial restructuring. Contributing to the community through pro bono work is a core tenet of our culture. Our attorneys have made an impact on many social issues through pro bono advocacy, including veterans’ rights, civil liberties, affordable housing, immigration and LGBTQ+ rights, among others. Munger, Tolles & Olson has been consistently ranked on The American Lawyer’s A-List since its inception in 2004, including seven years in the top spot, in part for our commitment to pro bono service. For more information, please visit www.mto.com.
About LMU Loyola Law School
Located on an award-winning Frank Gehry-designed campus in downtown Los Angeles, Loyola Law School is home to prominent faculty, dedicated students and cutting-edge programs. The law school strives to instill in students the knowledge they need to excel on their chosen paths. It dedicates itself to preparing students for the rigors of practice with an extensive portfolio of practical-training opportunities, a 19,000-strong alumni network and a focus on social justice. Learn more at: www.lls.edu.