The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has overturned the death sentence of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP client Max Soffar, who claimed he had falsely confessed involvement in the 1980 murders of three youths in a Houston bowling alley, after three days of police interrogation, during which he did not have a lawyer.
The ruling marks the second time in four years that a three-judge panel has overturned Soffar’s death sentence. The panel ruled that Soffar had received ineffective assistance of counsel at his 1980 murder trial and ordered the state to either release him from death row—where he has been for 23 years—or retry him. Three years ago, an appellate panel granted Soffar a new trial based on alleged Miranda violations, but that order was overturned by the full court.
Fried Frank attorneys currently representing Soffar include partner James H. Schropp and associates Jonathan P. Scott, Bradford R. Lucas, David Koeppel, Cristina Burbach, Shirley Huey, Paul H. Pashkoff, Ricky Sachar and Kerry Hotopp.