by Heather Hoch
For more than 10 years, a team of volunteer attorneys and law school students from the Arizona Justice Project took on Taylor's case—combing through old files and doing interviews that eventually led to enough new evidence to enable his attorneys to request a new hearing. Attorneys told reporters that much of the evidence had to do with science. If the Pioneer Hotel fire happened today, experts would have determined it was not arson.Carlos Arzate tells the story of wrongful imprisonment, corrupt court proceedings and the double tragedy of both the deadly fire and what happened to Louis Taylor afterwards in a new song called "The Ballad of Louis Taylor."
There was also clear evidence that prosecutorial misconduct had taken place, such as the suppression of evidence that supported Taylor's innocence. Which only made it more difficult when Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall fought and maneuvered to prevent Taylor's case from going back to court, finally offering a plea agreement that didn't exonerate him from the crime but allowed him to go free based on time served.