Criminal Law

Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

I have a relative who was arrested on murder charges. He…

I have a relative...

I have a relative who was arrested on murder charges. He admitted and told me personally the guy came into his home, threatened him, they fought, he choked him until he presumably passed out/away, and drug the person outside of his home. He is being accused of a shooting murder. My relative has a criminal past, but never was he ever charged with, performed any crime with, or been known to carry a firearm. He ultimately accepted a Kennedy plea bargain because he was under duress (they threatened him with arresting his sister and ex-wife). They have absolutely no evidence other than witnesses who claim to have known what happened, but there was no gun splatter residue on him, in the apartment, and the no blood splatter in the apartment consistent with a gun shot. There is no weapon. The witnesses were bribed. The address on the warrant was incorrect and they still searched his apartment and found nothing other than what was consistent with his story of a fight. The only reason he took the plea deal (previously rejected) was he had no faith in the public defender and tried to fire the person and was told he could not. The judge and prosecutor were married and two out of the 48 jurors chosen to sit for his case were the only minorities from a country town in West Virginia. I have more detail of course, but I would like to know is this a case the NAACP would get involved?

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when was the warrant issued?

The state is West Virginia and I do not have the exact date. The crime took place in September of last year.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

I am the uncle. He finally reached out to me from prison within the last two days. I knew some of the issues before he accepted the deal from his brother and sister. I actually talked to him after the crime. He panicked and fled to New Jersey (home state) because he thought he choked the man out and killed him by strangulation. A few days later, his sister reached out and told me what was going on and sent me a link to a newspaper clipping from the local area stating he had shot the man. I talked to him before the bounty hunters came and he told me exactly what happened and never mentioned a weapon.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Besides wanting to ask is this case one the NAACP would take, I would like to know why would the state push for first degree murder with only circumstantial evidence and why would they deny him from pulling his Kennedy plea?

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Answered in 9 minutes by:
9/8/2017
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,160
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Such a matter would be a "habeas corpus" action (where the state has to show good reason why it's holding onto him). Is there any evidence that he was treated more severely because of his race (I assume he's African-American)?

Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
He is African American, and I was told he was threatened each time to take a plea deal. He is being forced to take his public defender and there is no one in the jury pool to make it a fair mixture of his peers.

Well, most defendants are threatened to take a plea deal. The whole point of a plea deal is that they're accepting a bargain than what might otherwise happen at trial. It's risk mitigation, and for the prosecutors to make it worth while, they need to follow through with threats to prosecute more vigorously and ask for stiffer sentences. Now if there's evidence that the threats were greater than against white / Hispanic / Asian / etc... then that might be evidence of racial discrimination, but it's not per se.

As far as the jury make-up, is there any evidence that they pulled from a predominantly white population? That is, it was only two minorities that showed up to the jury pool in the first place?

Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I don't know if he felt it was discrimination in any form because of ethnicity or recidivism. I am not very familiar with
West Virginia or the county he is in, Raleigh county. After looking at DataUSA, I discovered the majority of the population is White (87.3%; Blacks are 8.3%), and the poorest group is the same at 80.9% and Blacks at 14.3%. That could play a part in the make up in the jury, but it could also play a part in discrimination against him.

It could. But a "jury of your peers" means geographically, not ethnically. "A jury of peers" more accurately means "a jury of fellow citizens." While courts do not have to ensure that a defendant's race, gender, or age group is represented in the jury pool, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that courts may not remove a potential juror based solely on his or her race or gender. So in short, if it's indicative of the demographics of the area, then it's not going to be something that can successfully be challenged.

Now it can't hurt asking the NAACP for help, but they're going to be spending time and resources on cases that they feel are within the cause of the organization (race discrimination cases). If there's no evidence of that, then this might not be successful. Contacting the ACLU (http://acluwv.org/) would probably be a better idea. That's more about general civil rights, rather than anything specific. And finally, I would suggest contacting WVU School of Law and see if they offer any clinics for wrongfully convicted individuals.

It can't hurt to contact the NAACP, but I wouldn't be surprised if they decline this case because of a lack of evidence relating to discrimination based upon race.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Contact ACLU and the law schools to see if they can help, as I think those would be more likely to assist.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,160
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified
ScottyMacEsq and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?
Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,160
18,160 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

ScottyMacEsq is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends.

NormaPensacola, FL

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

3,194 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

2,063 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

1,862 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Lawyer

1,815 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience

Nate

Nate

Lawyer

1,736 satisfied customers

Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

1,631 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law

AttorneyTom

AttorneyTom

Lawyer

1,242 satisfied customers

Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Criminal Law Questions
My brother pointed a gun at his sister once. Another time
My brother pointed a gun at his sister once. Another time chased her with a knife, chased her boyfriend friend a hammer, harrased someone who used to live in our house until she moved out. … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
30,154 satisfied customers
My home was shot up and I no idea why, but it has come to my
My home was shot up and I no idea why, but it has come to my attention that the young man in my custody robbed a drug dealer in my are. Now, I had no idea any of this was going on. During the shooting… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
My nephew did try to robba guy with a gun and shot himself
my nephew did try to robba guy with a gun and shot himself in the leg. The robbery went bad and he went home and his sister and sisters boyfriend took the gun so his mom wouldnt find out. not knowing … read more
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD
Doctoral Degree
193 satisfied customers
I live in Beach, VA. My son (age 10) has a playmate (age 9)
I live in Virginia Beach, VA. My son (age 10) has a playmate (age 9) whose father recently bought him an Airsoft gun. My son requested that I purchase one for him at the Dollar Store - where he said h… read more
TexLawyer
TexLawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
24 satisfied customers
There is a murder were a young man went to another young man
There is a murder were a young man went to another young man house to confront or speak with his sister about a misunderstanding;a fight broke out and the young man that lived at the house was killed.… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
This is about bail bondsmen/bounty hunters. Got into a heated
This is about bail bondsmen/bounty hunters. Got into a heated discussion with a friend about this. Called police stations in 2 locations and got 2 different answers. So I'm trying here. BotXXXXX XXXXX… read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,766 satisfied customers
My brother was arrested months ago in Pasadena. He was initially
My brother was arrested months ago in Pasadena. He was initially dharged with Assault with a deadly weapon. Then the prosecutor elevated the charge to Attempted Murder. The prosecutor offered my broth… read more
Legal-Guru
Legal-Guru
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctorate
1,354 satisfied customers
My grandson at age 16 went into a convince store in Detroit to rob it, at the behest of ot
My grandson at age 16 went into a convince store in Detroit to rob it, at the behest of other kids. They gave him the gun and told him to do it to be part of them. The attendant pulled his gun and Sta… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
30,154 satisfied customers
How should I plead to a charge of "concealed or concealable
How should I plead to a charge of "concealed or concealable weapon" ? I went to California from Nevada to serve a "3-day notice to quit" on the ex-husband of a friend. She had a restraining order in f… read more
Sam
Sam
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,701 satisfied customers
If a person is on probation for felony drug charges and is arrested for armed robbery usin
If a person is on probation for felony drug charges and is arrested for armed robbery using a BB gun in a convenience store, can he be charged for the robbery (class 2 felony), possession of a gun as … read more
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL
Lawyer
Juris Doctorate
1,862 satisfied customers
Should a weapon (knife/blade with blood on it) found in the
Should a weapon (knife/blade with blood on it) found in the hand of the deceased party be tested for DNA to show that the deceased attacked the other party involved in the incident. 2 men broke into a… read more
JB-Umphrey
JB-Umphrey
Attorney & Counselor
Juris Doctor
606 satisfied customers
if a bounty hunter in florida that did not write the bond on
if a bounty hunter in florida that did not write the bond on a person that climbs a locked gate and trys to arrest the man that is out on bail and is there for shot and killed is that murded and can t… read more
D. WINOGO ESQ.
D. WINOGO ESQ.
Hearing Officer/Attorney
Doctoral Degree
100 satisfied customers
I had a past felony charge 13 years ago for a non violent crime
I had a past felony charge 13 years ago for a non violent crime possession of less than 1 gram of cocaine. I was arrested for criminal possession of a fire arm, these were my friends guns i kept in a … read more
P. Simmons
P. Simmons
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
2,063 satisfied customers
my roomate fired a rifle at my face and missed, then he tried
my roomate fired a rifle at my face and missed, then he tried to choke me, than he tried to find a 2nd gun hidden to use on my son, who disarmed him. what will happen now?… read more
AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq.
Managing Lawyer/Advocate
Doctoral Degree
37 satisfied customers
ert was sitting in a car with Pratt when Jack approached the
ert was sitting in a car with Pratt when Jack approached the car, pointed a gun at Bert and fired, mistakenly killing Pratt. Jack attempted to fire again at Bert, but his gun jammed and would not fire… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
I AM REGISTARED TO CARRY A GUN AND I WENT TO JAIL FOR A DAY
I AM REGISTARED TO CARRY A GUN AND I WENT TO JAIL FOR A DAY OR TWO FOR SHOOTING A GUY SIX TIMES. I BAILED OUT. THIS IS MY FIRST OFFENSE. WHEN I GO TO COURT WHAT SENTENCE DO YOU THINK IM LIKELY TO GET … read more
Sam
Sam
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
10,701 satisfied customers
My son was convicted to 81 years in prison in Hampton, VA,
My son was convicted to 81 years in prison in Hampton, VA, when he was 19 years old. He was given a court-appointed attorney who had never worked a murder case. The prosecutor used his juvenile record… read more
P. Simmons
P. Simmons
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
2,063 satisfied customers
I live in WV and a friend of mine is in prision for ...
I live in WV and a friend of mine is in prision for selling of pot ( less than 10 grams), intimidation (non-contact, intimidation was a aingle letter), and is up on another intimidation charge, all fe… read more
Lawgirl
Lawgirl
Founder
Doctoral Degree
4,606 satisfied customers

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).

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).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x