Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Thank you for your response and I am not trying to be argumentative but you said "Unfortunately, a person cannot raise issues for the first time on Appeal to the United States Supreme Court."
This really seems to put the defendant at a big disadvantage especially if he has public defenders as in this case. The reason I say that is there is no way the public defender is going to say his co public defender at trial was ineffective. And he is certainly not going to admit he is ineffective. So they can do a poor job and never worry about the case going to the US Supreme Court. Even the state appeal court judges have no worry of the case going beyond them if no constitutional issue was brought up. Isn't this unfair to the defendant? Is there some other means that the defendant can complain about ineffective counsel ie not bringing up miranda rights violations and not having a drug expert after the appeal to the state appeal court?
You stated: ""A public defender's job, first and foremost, is to represent his client. He absolutely can and will state that another lawyer in the public defender's office did not provide effective assistance if it will help the client. I've also seen defense lawyers argue that they themselves provided ineffective assistance of counsel. Every federal constitutional violation can be raised on the initial appeal, discussed throughout the process by the state courts, and appealed to the US Supreme Court, if necessary. Every defendant has the same opportunity to raise these arguments."
No doubt it is the public defenders job to represent his client. Maybe in some utopian world that happens all the time but not in these United States. It did not happen in this case. My question was if there was in fact ineffective counsel and the defendant told the appeal counsel and he did not act on it what can the defendant do? The defendant's understanding was he had to accept what ever proposition of error his counsel wrote up. The appeal counsel never let the defendant see the appeal brief before it was submitted. So is there anything that can be done in a case like the? The defendant has emails where he told the appeal counsel about the trial court counsel not getting a drug expert and not bringing up miranda violations. The appeal court counsel just acted as they were not significant. He made excuses for the trial counsel. What can the defendant do about this? The records were given to the appeal court judges 4 weeks ago.
You said: "Once a person's state court appeals are exhausted, the next step may be to file a writ of habeas corpus in the local federal district court. The case would have to go through the system before getting to the U.S. Supreme Court."
There is only one appeal Court in Oklahoma. Is there anything else the defendant can do once the judges give their opinion as far as that court is concerned? My understanding is there was nothing else the defendant could do in the state after they made their decision.
So are you saying in this writ of habeas corpus he can explain about ineffective counsel even though it was not brought up by appeal counsel on direct appeal?
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).