25 Sep Project 6 Client Released After 42 Years!
This summer, Project 6 was delighted to welcome home Paul Luckey, after 42 years of incarceration. Paul was one of Project 6’s very first cases and we were able to match him with an outstanding team of pro bono attorneys who won his release.
Paul was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he committed when he was a teenager. Forty-two year later, he is now in his 60’s and he is a changed man. Unfortunately, second chances are hard to find in prison. Like so many individuals caught up in a criminal-legal system predicated on punishment, Paul was condemned to be forgotten. Without the resources to afford an attorney, he had given up hope and he did not believe he would ever gain his freedom – until he connected with Project 6.
Given his young age at the time of the crime, Paul had initially hoped that Project 6 could help him receive a sentence modification under Maryland’s Juvenile Restoration Act. However, this law only applies to individuals who were under 18 years old at the time of their crime. Since Paul had turned 18 a few months before the crime, he had aged out of eligibility. Paul’s case reflects a common theme among Project 6 clients: he was young enough at the time of the crime that his brain was still developing, but he was too old to now receive any targeted juvenile relief. However, Project 6 was able to come up with a different strategy that we correctly believed would win Paul his freedom.
Next, Project 6 approached Hogan Lovells- a global powerhouse law firm – about taking on the case pro bono. Hogan Lovells agreed and assigned to Paul’s case four excellent attorneys: Steven Barley, Melissa Giangrande, Ashley Ifeadike, and Elizabeth Och.
Hogan Lovells developed the case, drafted a winning legal brief, and persuaded the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office that, after 42 years, Paul deserved his second chance. The State joined Paul’s motion seeking immediate release. This was enough to persuade the judge, who agreed that Paul had served enough time in prison. Thanks to Hogan Lovells’ outstanding advocacy, Paul was released far sooner than we had originally anticipated.
For Paul, his new-found freedom has meant reconnecting with his large and supportive family, taking his sister’s chow chows for long walks, and enjoying as many spare ribs as possible. After more than four decades in prison, Project 6 is so happy to see him thriving.
We would like to say thank you to Hogan Lovells, one of Project 6’s earliest and most robust supporters, for taking on this important case.