Nearly three years ago, appellate lawyers at O’Melveny & Myers convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the second degree murder conviction facing pro bono client Evangelisto Ramos. A divided New Orleans jury had voted 10-to-2 to convict Ramos in 2016. But the high court held the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial requires a unanimous verdict to convict defendants of a serious offense, even in state court.
With Ramos facing a retrial, O’Melveny partner Rebecca Mermelstein, who joined the firm last year from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, teamed with local co-counsel Sarah Chervinsky. This past week, after three days of testimony and less than four hours of deliberations, a 12-person jury in New Orleans found Ramos not guilty—unanimously.