BILLY SINCLAIR FACT SHEET
- Born in Rayville, Louisiana on January 17, 1945.
- Incarcerated in the Louisiana prison system for 40 years, four months from December 11, 1965, to April 21, 2006.
- Convicted of felony murder in East Baton Rouge Parish on June 11, 1966.
- Sentenced to death by electrocution on March 1, 1967.
- Death sentence vacated in October 1972.
- Resentenced to life without parole in November 1972.
- Life sentence commuted to 90 years in January 1992.
- Paroled to the State of Texas on April 21, 2006.
- Employed as senior paralegal with the John T. Floyd Law Firm, Houston, Texas since April 2007.
- Jailhouse lawyer for 34 years. Prepared post-conviction writs and appellate briefs in all state courts (district/intermediate appellate/Supreme Court) and in federal courts (district/appellate/U.S. Supreme Court).
- Experience includes criminal law, constitutional law, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 litigation, civil law, family law, discovery proceedings in state/federal courts, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) motions to dismiss; and Fed.R.Civ.P. 36 summary judgment proceedings.
- Won first prisoner rights lawsuit in Louisiana in Sinclair v. Henderson, 331 F.Supp. 1123 (E.D. La. 1971).
- Legal writings published in Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 5, p. 1061 (May 1985); Journal of Prison & Jail Health, Vol. 3, No, 2, p. 100 (Fall/Winter 1983); New England Journal on Prison Law, (Vol. 7, No. 2, p. 556 (Summer 1981).
- Worked as “inmate counsel-substitute” in Louisiana prison system in 1973 and from 1988 through 1994 representing inmates before institutional disciplinary board proceedings and in the administrative grievance process.
- Prison journalist with the Louisiana State Penitentiary newsmagazine, The Angolite, from 1977 through 1986.
- Recipient of the 1979 Robert F. Kennedy Special Journalism Award.
- Recipient of the 1980 George Polk Award.
- Recipient of the 1980 American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award.
- Recipient of the 1981 Sidney Hillman Award.
- Recipient of the 1981 and 1982 American Bar Association Certificate of Merit Awards.