10/13/20 - News
Adam Dinnell Part of Pro Bono Team That Obtains Successful Decision in Texas Death Row Appeal
A pro bono team comprised of SHJ partner Adam Dinnell as well as longstanding members Samy Khalil (Gerger Khalil Hennessy & McFarlane), Chad Flores (Beck Redden), Jay Ewart (Arnold & Porter), and Karen Otto (Arnold & Porter) recently obtained a rare victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which granted them authorization to file a successive habeas petition on behalf of Texas death row inmate Rob Will.
In 2000, Will was convicted for the murder of a Harris County sheriff’s deputy after he and an associate, Michael Rosario, were caught stripping parts from cars by law enforcement. Will has spent the last two decades on Texas death row.
The court concluded that previously withheld evidence was sufficient for Will’s Brady claim to merit further consideration before the district court. Crucially, one such piece of evidence attests that Rosario—who Will alleges actually shot the deputy—tried to put out a hit on Will before Will could testify against him. Ultimately, the court found that Will “demonstrated it is reasonably likely that, after hearing the new evidence alongside the old evidence, every reasonable juror would have some level of reasonable doubt.”
Asked why he chose to join Will’s defense team, Adam has explained, “As someone facing a death sentence, Rob Will should be afforded the best possible process under the law. The court’s opinion affirms our assertion that Rob has been denied the right to make arguments in court that could overturn his conviction.”