Two men who have spent a combined 44 years on death row in southern states have some reason for hope as the new year approaches. Attorneys for the men, including members of the New York bar who have donated hundreds of hours to their cases, finally have persuaded appellate courts to overturn their convictions.

For nearly 20 years, J. Christopher Jensen, an intellectual property partner at Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, has worked to prove that his South Carolina client is innocent of raping and murdering an elderly woman for whom he had done odd jobs.

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