June 3, 2010
A convicted criminal defendant who alleges malpractice against defense counsel must claim and establish actual innocence of the offense, according to a decision of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The defendant had fled while the jury was deliberating and was convicted in absentia of over 100 counts of theft and tax evasion. An appeal of the conviction was dismissed because the defendant was a fugitive. He was arrested in Switzerland and extradited to New Hampshire. The attorney who was sued was retained to seek post-conviction relief.
The court here dismissed the suit for failure to assert actual innocence. (Mike Frisch)
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Apparently, only the innocent are entitled to competent legal representation in the state of New Hampshire. It is unfortunate that the pro se appellants were unable to extend their arguments to include the obvious constitutional issues implicated by this.
Posted by: FixedWing | Jun 5, 2010 12:00:05 PM