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Man convicted in 1970 Pioneer fire to be set free after 42 years

Louis Taylor, convicted for setting the 1970 fire at the Pioneer Hotel that killed 29, will be set free Tuesday after 42 years behind bars. Although Taylor has always maintained his innocence and his original trial was tainted by questions of racism that sparked a push for a new trial, he will be found guilty and sentenced to the years he has already served. (with video)
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2 comments on this story

Mar 31, 2013, 11:40 am
-0 +2

OK, this stinks to me, either way you slice it…

-If he is guilty, then he should not be set free regardless of the circumstances

-If he is not guilty, then he shouldn’t be cutting this deal. It sounds as if we now have reasonable doubt. While I’m not a lawyer, I would think that dead witnesses and lost evidence can only help Taylor at this point rather than hurt him.

My theory is that the state is just doing this to free Taylor without having to answer a wrongful conviction and imprisonment lawsuit.

Mar 31, 2013, 2:08 pm
-0 +0

Here’s another thought I had about this…

What is he going to do now?

He’s almost sixty, and he has spent literally his entire adult life behind bars. The only work experience he has had is in prison, he’s going to be released a convicted felon, and have no pension or social security.

This is yet another reason for Taylor not to agree to this horrible deal. If Taylor is indeed innocent, then the state should provide compensation to partially make this right (there’s no way to fully make up for 42 years), so this guy has the means to support himself…because I doubt many will give him the opportunities he needs.

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