Friday, April 3, 2015

Carlos Arzate Releases Video Chronicling Louis Taylor and the 1970 Pioneer Hotel Fire

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 2:30 PM

click to enlarge Louis Taylor spent 42 years in prison. - ARIZONA JUSTICE PROJECT / YOUTUBE
  • Arizona Justice Project / YouTube
  • Louis Taylor spent 42 years in prison.
In 1970, Tucson's Pioneer Hotel set fire, resulting in the deaths of 28 people. At the time, 16-year-old Louis Taylor was convicted of the murders. However, 42 years later Taylor was freed.

From a cover story we did on Taylor two years ago:
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.

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.
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."

The song is part of a partnership with the Arizona Justice Project—a nonprofit that seeks to help victims of injustice like Taylor. "The Ballad of Louis Taylor" will be released on the forthcoming album "Got Me Wrong," which will donate a portion of its proceeds to the project. You can also donate to the cause via the AJP Paypal account.

Here's Arzate's "The Ballad of Louis Taylor":


Editor's Note: This post has been updated from its original content to include more information on the Louis Taylor case.

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