NEWS (3/10/20): A Utah federal district court has granted a new trial to death-row prisoner Von Taylor based on defense counsel’s ineffectiveness in failing to investigate the facts before advising him whether to plead guilty. Taylor pled guilty to a double murder and was sentenced to death based upon the mistaken belief that he had killed the two victims. Because of counsel’s failure to investigate, Taylor was unaware of ballistics evidence indicating that his co-defendant, not Taylor, had fired the shots that killed the victims. In a March 10, 2020 ruling, the court found that Taylor had “pleaded guilty to two capital murders based on inexcusably uninformed advice from counsel which then exposed him to the possibility of execution.”


Read the court’s opin­ion in Taylor v. Crowther, No. 2:07-CV-194-TC (D. Utah Mar. 102020).