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After Nearly 18 Years in Prison, Linnenburger Secures Client's Release

Post-conviction work is challenging intense, and requires attorneys adept at both trial and appellate work. It is often the last chance of those in prison and is not for the faint of heart. Lane + Linnenburger + Lane is showing that our attorneys are uniquely qualified for this difficult area of law.

In the summer of 2005, a young man with severe mental health problems had a psychotic episode in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The result was a high speed chase by Las Cruces Police concluding in an accident that killed a pedestrian.

Then District Attorney, Susana Martinez, charged the young man with capital murder. After years at the Behavioral Health Institute involving competency treatment, the man entered a plea of guilty to murder and related offenses. He was sentenced to over 22 years in prison.

For years he continued to struggle with mental health problems in the prison system. His family tried other lawyers, to no avail. After trying others, the family retained Lane + Linnenburger + Lane partner Paul Linnenburger to seek post-conviction relief.

In the fall of 2022, Paul filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus challenging the plea and sentence. In an extremely rare development, the Court granted a writ of habeas corpus without requiring an evidentiary hearing. Based on Paul's arguments and the record alone, on June 5, 2023, the Third Judicial District Court of New Mexico entered an order granting the writ of habeas corpus and ordered the immediate release of the client after nearly 18 years in prison.

Lane + Linnenburger + Lane is proud to announce that the client was released and returned home on June 6, 2023. Congratulations to Paul and to the reunited family.

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