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Amicus Brief Bank

The Amicus Brief Bank is an online archive of all Amicus Briefs filed by the Innocence Network in cases around the country.
What is an Amicus Brief?

An amicus brief is a written legal argument filed by someone not directly involved in a case on appeal to help educate the court about particular issues. The Network decides when to file amicus briefs based upon many factors including which jurisdiction the case is in, what the particular issues being advocated are, and what kind of an impact the brief might have.

Submit an Amicus Brief Request

See our amicus brief request page to submit a request to the Innocence Network’s Amicus Committee

View the Amicus Brief Bank
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Amicus brief
Actual Innocence
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
State/Federal Habeas Corpus Rules & Procedures
Ramirez, David and Barry Lee Jones, Shinn et al v. (2021)
Position: The Supreme Court's decision in Martinez v Ryan (2012) is critical to protecting the rights of innocent defendants: The Court should uphold Martinez and recognize that, in ineffective assistance cases, the development of a post-trial record is essential and should not be barred by Section 2254(e)(2) of the habeas statute.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Sidley Austin LLP

Courts:  

Supreme Court of the United States

Case #: 20-1009
Amicus brief
Confessions, Interrogations & Interviewing
False Confessions
Other Issues
Lucio, Melissa v. Lumpkin (2021)
Position: The right to present a complete defense (under the compulsory process clause of the 6th amendment and the due process clause of the 14th amendment) is violated when a court improperly limits the presentation of a complete defense, regardless of whether the limitations were arbitrary or systematic, and the Fifth Circuit wrongly limited violations of this right to instances where the limitations were systematic. Second, false confessions are a leading cause of wrongful convictions, and certain police practices are known to create a high risk of false confessions.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP

Courts:  

Supreme Court of the United States

Case #: 21-5095
Amicus brief
Actual Innocence
Unreliable Forensic Science
Police or Prosecutorial Misconduct
Johnson, Denishio v. Vanderkooi et al (2021)
Position: Fingerprinting during a Terry stop is an unlawful seizure under the 4th Amendment, particularly in the context of youth.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Dykema Gossett PLLC

Courts:  

Supreme Court of Michigan

Case #: 160958, 160959
Amicus brief
Informant Testimony
Confessions, Interrogations & Interviewing
Actual Innocence
Hemphill, Darrell v. State of NY
Position: Informant testimony is fraught with reliability problems, is a leading cause of wrongful conviction and must be carefully scrutinized through cross-examination
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Courts:  

Supreme Court of the United States

Case #: 20-637
Amicus brief
Access to Evidence
Unreliable Forensic Science
Biggs, Jay L., State of Ohio v. (2021)
Position: Wrongfully Convicted Defendants Cannot Vindicate Their Due Process Liberty Interest in Proving Their Innocence on Post-Conviction Review Without Access to the Scientific or Medical Evidence.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Courts:  

Ohio Supreme Court

Case #: 2021-0113
Amicus brief
Shaken Baby Syndrome
Jones, Clarence, III v. State of Maryland (2020)
Position: The SBS/AHT hypothesis is unsound and therefore poses a serious risk of wrongful conviction. The hypothesis is no longer supported by reliable scientific evidence, and it has been shown to result in false accusations and convictions.
Amicus brief
Shaken Baby Syndrome
McFarlane, Anthony Ray v. People of the State of Michigan (2020)
Position: Case concerns the Court of Appeals’ recognition of the effect that the word “abusive” has on a jury’s verdict in so-called abusive head trauma (“AHT”) prosecutions.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  
Case #: 158259
Amicus brief
Shaken Baby Syndrome
HH, Christopher v. Sullivan County Department of Family Services (2018)
Position: Cases based on the SBS/AHT hypothesis pose a serious risk of judicial error, especially where the evidence is presented in an incomplete or asymmetric manner.
Decision: On October 18, 12018 the Appellate court ordered that the “order and amended order (of the Family court of Sullivan County) are modified, on the law, without costs, by reversing so much thereof as granted petitioner’s application with respect to Liana HH.; petition dismissed in its entirety; and, as so modified, affirmed”. (dismissed petition asking for adjudication finding that the children were abused and neglected and imposing protective order, therefore finding in favor of Respondent-Appellant).
Case #: 17265
Amicus brief
Actual Innocence
Unreliable Forensic Science
Patel, Purvi v. State of Indiana (2015)
Position: Challenges to unsound forensic sciences should be basis for granting a new trial.
Decision: The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned Patel’s the conviction and reduced a second charge of neglecting a dependent.
Case #: 71A04-1504-CR-00166
Amicus brief
Actual Innocence
Griffith, Evan v. Rednour (2011)
Position: The actual innocence gateway applies to AEDPA’s statute of limitations.
Decision: Petition for writ of certiorari denied.
Counsel:  
Case #: 10-980
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