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Early on Oct. 1, Squire Sanders associate Carine Williams was driving south on Interstate 10 in Louisiana when her iPhone shook her out of a sad reverie. She was headed toward what would probably be her last visit to her client Herman Wallace, one of the so-called Angola Three inmates at Louisiana’s Angola prison who had been held in solitary confinement for decades. A magistrate judge had recommended that the U.S. district court in Baton Rouge deny Wallace’s habeas corpus petition. Squire Sanders had just filed a 30-page opposition brief, but the chances that the 71-year-old Wallace, who had liver cancer, would live to see release “were slim to none,” she said.

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