In 2003, James Evans filed a petition for postconviction relief following convictions for murder and solicitating murder. Twenty years later, the petition still pending, the Seventh Circuit addressed “inordinate” delay.

In an April 27 opinion, Judge Michael Y. Scudder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit determined that James Evans’s 2003 postconviction relief petition still pending 20 years later was “indefensible,” vacating and remanding a lower court’s ruling that held Evans had failed to met the exhaustion requirement.