September 10, 2021
Weil partner Garland Stephens, in collaboration with Fish & Richardson partner John Lane and the Innocence Project, helped Mr. Sherwood Brown, a man who was convicted and sentenced to death for a terrible crime that he did not commit, walk free after 28 years in prison.
In 1993, at the age of 25, Mr. Brown was arrested for the murder of three women who lived near his home in Eudora, Miss. He remained in custody until his release last week. Mr. Brown was convicted of all three murders in 1995 and sentenced to death. He was confined on death row in Mississippi’s Parchman Prison until 2017, when the Mississippi Supreme Court vacated his conviction in response to a motion filed by Weil, Fish and the Innocence project, which showed that contrary to the State’s theory at his trial, DNA testing proved that blood on Mr. Brown’s shoes did not match the victim’s blood and that none of Mr. Brown’s DNA was found in samples taken from the victims.
Rather than dismiss the charges, the District Attorney’s office announced it intended to retry Mr. Brown for the murders. Bail is not available for capital murder suspects in Mississippi, and Mr. Brown was transferred to the DeSoto County jail to await trial. After three and a half more years in jail, the District Attorney agreed to drop the charges, and Mr. Brown walked free for the first time on August 24, 2021. Weil has represented Mr. Brown since 2006.