Season 5 of Orange Is The New Black ends with the death of C.O. Piscatella, and Season 6 begins with an investigation into who is to blame. Among the many suspects is Taystee, who used the Litchfield riot to try and fight for prisoners' rights and get justice for the death of her friend Poussey, who was murdered by a guard. After the conclusion of the investigation, however, many fans will be left wondering what will happen to Taystee following the Season 6 finale. It's devastating AF.
Spoilers ahead for Orange Is The New Black Season 6. Season 5 almost ended with Taystee pulling the trigger on Piscatella, before her fellow prisoners convinced her not to do so. While Taystee may not have pulled the trigger, her fingerprints on the gun and the testimonies of others gave investigators enough information to pin the crime on her and she's charged with his murder mid-season. Taystee attempts to fight the charge and she's lucky that the riot, and her part in it, have become national news. First, she calls on former Litchfield warden Caputo to help her out, but by the time she goes to trial, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has provided her with a lawyer and activist groups such as Black Lives Matter are behind her.
In the very final moments of Season 6, Taystee is in court, awaiting the verdict. Although the audience does not hear it, Taystee's "guilty" verdict sends shockwaves throughout the courtroom and Taystee is led back to Litchfield maximum security prison with a possible life sentence and a reputation as a guard-killer. Luckily, she is in New York State, which does not have any death penalty laws, but being known as a guard killer — as we've seen in Season 6 — is likely just as bad.
It's a bleak ending for a beloved character, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost for Taystee. The first episode of Season 6 revealed that Cindy and Suzaane witnessed the CERT team that accidentally killed Piscatella positioning the body in the pool and shooting the corpse. The CERT team's intent was to remove guilt from themselves by making it look like the prisoners who were hiding in the pool during the riot had killed Piscatella.
While Taystee is not privy to this knowledge, Cindy and Suzanne could both testify that the CERT team had staged the murder, but Cindy seems to recognize that angering the CERT team could put their own lives in danger.
While Cindy and Suzanne may not come forward with the truth any time soon, an anonymous tip from Cindy (who betrayed her BFF by not mentioning it during her initial questioning) to Caputo has led the former warden to begin investigating the matter on his own. If Caputo is able to pin the murder on the CERT team, that could be enough to have the life sentence removed from Taystee's record come Season 7.
Another hint that Taystee isn't doomed to serve out a live sentence is the fact that the ACLU and the Black Lives Matter movement both expressed support for her during the trial. With two major names in social justice behind her, Taystee could get the resources to make an effective appeal to the verdict. Between a possible appeal and Caputo's amateur investigation, it's clear that the show is not done with Taystee's fight for justice. While there's hope for Taystee yet, fans will have to wait for Season 7 of Orange Is The New Black to see if truth stands a chance at being heard in the show's portrayal of the criminal justice system.