Javascript is disabled! Innocence Network

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
filter by
sort by
all amicus briefs
Amicus brief
Informant Testimony
Police or Prosecutorial Misconduct
James Skinner v. Darrell Vannoy (2024)
Position: Risk of wrongful conviction is heightened when the State relies solely on incentivized witnesses to build its case—calling into question the fairness and accuracy of the verdict, particularly in light of new Brady evidence relating directly to the benefits received by the incentivized witnesses.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

NEUNERPATE

Courts:  

Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana

Case #: No. 2024-KP-0142
Amicus brief
Police or Prosecutorial Misconduct
False Confessions
State/Federal Habeas Corpus Rules & Procedures
People of the State of Illinois v. Jose Vidaurri (2023)
Position: Court should set a fair and reasonable bar for similarity of conduct for litigants seeking to make newly discovered evidence claims based on a pattern of police misconduct under Illinois law.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Exoneration Project

Courts:  

Supreme Court of Illinois

Case #: 129551
Amicus brief
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
State/Federal Habeas Corpus Rules & Procedures
John Taylor v. Superintendent Dallas SCI (2023)
Position: Trial counsel's actual conflict of interest (where he represented the defendant and the state's star witness) fundamentally undermines representation so thoroughly that a habeas petitioner need not also establish prejudice under Strickland.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Pennsylvania Innocence Project

Courts:  

U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Case #: 23-2511
Amicus brief
Eyewitness Identification
People of the State of California v. Steven Dewayne Cheatham (2023)
Position: Eyewitness certainty does not correlate to accuracy and the jury likely was confused by a misleading certainty instruction and the court should provide a legal framework that allows relief in cases of likely wrongful conviction.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Wilkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Courts:  

Supreme Court of California

Case #: Capital Case #: S172432; LA County Superior Court #: TA77801
Amicus brief
Unreliable Forensic Science
Jason Smith v. State of Arizona (2023)
Position: Because forensic science has an outsized impact on jurors, cross-examination must include the analyst who actually performed the forensic testing, not a surrogate.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Tonkin Torp LLP

Courts:  

Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One

Case #: 22-899
Amicus brief
State/Federal Habeas Corpus Rules & Procedures
Danny Jacobs v. Ryan Thornell (2023)
Position: The Ninth Circuit should overrule its prior precedent and hold that amendments made to federal habeas corpus petitions that have been adjudicated in the district court, but remain pending on appeal, do not constitute a second/successive petition.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Federal Defenders of Montana

Courts:  

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Case #: No. 22-16822
Amicus brief
Compensation
Other Issues
In Re Terrell Champagne (2023)
Position: Juveniles should be treated the same as adults in obtaining a certificate of innocence compensation so they may seek compensation. Juvenile adjudications are “convictions” for the purpose of a certificate of innocence and the denying exonerated juveniles a certificate of innocence violates equal protection. Thus, the court can and should extend the certificate of innocence statute to juveniles to avoid and unconstitutional interpretation.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Latham & Watkins LLP

Courts:  

Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District

Case #: No. 1-22-1880
Amicus brief
State/Federal Habeas Corpus Rules & Procedures
False Confessions
Confessions, Interrogations & Interviewing
People of the State of Illinois v. Wayne Washington (2023)
Position: False confessions and guilty pleas are generally not voluntary acts, and thus they should not preclude a defendant from seeking/obtaining a certificate of actual innocence under Illinois law.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Jones Day

Courts:  

Supreme Court of Illinois

Case #: No. 127952
Amicus brief
State/Federal Habeas Corpus Rules & Procedures
False Confessions
Confessions, Interrogations & Interviewing
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Jerry Reeves (2023)
Position: The Court should protect innocent defendants facing retrial by excluding prior testimony tainted or impelled by a constitutional violation, and the Court should allow trial courts the discretion to admit expert testimony on factors contributing to false confessions.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Ballard Spahr LLP

Courts:  

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Middle District

Case #: No. 220 MAL 2022
Amicus brief
Access to Evidence
State/Federal Habeas Corpus Rules & Procedures
Sergio Ochoa v. Ronald Davis (2023)
Position: The court should reaffirm Nunes v Mueller, 350 F.3d 1045 (9th Cir. 2003) and recognize that it remains good law, so that federal habeas corpus petitioners have a meaningful chance of federal court review in cases where the California state courts dismissed post-conviction petitions based on a failure to plead a prima facie case.
Decision: Pending
Counsel:  

Loyola Project for the Innocent

Courts:  

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Case #: CA NO. 18-99007
1
of 23

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Read our cookies policies here.