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Law360: After High Court Win, O’Melveny Clears La. Man Of Murder

April 21, 2023

An O’Melveny pro bono team secured the release of Evangelisto Ramos, a Louisiana man who served more than eight years in prison for a murder conviction that was delivered by a non-unanimous jury. Three years ago, an appellate team from the firm appealed Ramos’s conviction, arguing before the US Supreme Court that the Sixth Amendment requires unanimous convictions for both state and federal juries. The high court agreed and granted Ramos a retrial. O’Melveny partner Rebecca Mermelstein led an O’Melveny team that represented Ramos last month in a three-day trial in which a New Orleans jury unanimously found Ramos not guilty. “It’s a great example of why the prior system was so problematic. It really shows you that it led to innocent people being convicted,” Mermelstein said. O’Melveny took up the retrial because of the firm’s established relationship with Ramos from the Supreme Court appeal. “The firm felt it was very important to us, because he was very important to us, that we see this case through. It was totally natural that we would have done this retrial. Whether we do more of them, I think it just depends on the circumstances and the opportunities that are presented, but they are incredibly important cases,” said O’Melveny partner Mark Racanelli, who also represented Ramos.

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