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Diana Holt helped a wrongfully convicted man walk free after being spending 30 years on death row imprisoned in South Carolina. And, Edward Lee Elmore would continue to be on death row if not for Diana Holt.
“Sometimes, I am the first person who ever stuck by them or treated them with respect.”
And Ms. Holt has first-hand knowledge about those who are oftentimes down on their luck. Her journey to law school had been hard-fought, with a history of abusive relationships and a stint as a teen serving time in a Louisiana prison for armed robbery. Given her past, Holt was pleasantly surprised when the University of Texas accepted her law school application in 1991, according to a recent article published via Black Legal Issues.
Through a series of internships, Ms. Holt provided assistance with Elmore's case, and immediately became immersed in the case discovering a disturbing chain of events that led to Elmore’s conviction, starting with law enforcement’s willingness to build a case around Holloway’s timeline. A breakthrough finally came in 2011, when the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed Elmore’s conviction and ordered a new trial.
And yet, when Elmore walked out of prison in 2012, he was not fully exonerated; however, Ms. Holt told the court that his defense team believed Elmore was “100 percent innocent.”
“If I throw in the towel, a client dies. If I stop working, they stop breathing.”
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