Friday, May 3, 2013
The New York Court of Appeals has reversed a conviction for second degree murder as a result of the incompetence of defense counsel throughout the proceedings:
Defense counsel's actions throughout this case showed an unfamiliarity with or disregard for basic criminal procedure and evidentiary law. At the very least, a defendant is entitled to representation by counsel that has such basic knowledge, particularly so, when that defendant is facing a major felony with significant liberty implications. Considering the seriousness of the errors in their totality, we conclude that defendant was deprived of a fair trial by less than meaningful representation.
The court's opinion identifies several lapses and notes that the prosecutor "to his great credit" raised the issue of counsel's effectivess pretrial. (Mike Frisch)