Saturday, February 23, 2008

Threats No Basis To Disqualify Prosecutor

The Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld the imposition of a life sentence without possibility of parole in a "heinous and horrific case of domestic abuse that resulted in the execution-style murder of a wife and beloved mother of three children." The court rejected the claim on appeal that one of the two prosecutors should have been disqualified due to threats from the defendant: "Requiring the prosecutor to be disqualified merely because defendant allegedly threatened her life would provide defendants an incentive to engage in such unlawful conduct." The court also held that  a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel based on a prior professional relationship between defense counsel and a prosecutor was not ripe for review. (Mike Frisch)

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