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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27478
Experience:  18 years of litigation experience.
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My brother was arrested and jailed crime he says and stands

Customer Question

My brother was arrested and jailed for a crime he says and stands behind that he did not do. I sent money to an attorney from San Francisco to represent him in St. Joseph MO. When I speak to John my brother I can tell in his voice he wants me to do something.. He has spent 5 years of his 76 year sentence. I need some help... Well He needs help let me rephrase.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.


Was he convicted after a jury trial? Did he appeal his conviction?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No jury trial I don't believe. He has asked and has been denied.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

That makes no sense. You tell me that he is presently serving a 75 year sentence. That means he was convicted of his charges. So either he took a plea and agreed to 75 years, or he was convicted after a trial. He might have agreed at the time to give up a trial by jury and try it directly to the judge. But he had a fundamental right to a jury trial for any case that would get him 75 years.

It sounds like you may be confused as to what happened with his case. Can you clariy how he ended up with a 75-year sentence and whether he appealed his conviction?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He may have... I can't answer that. I was in San Francisco I sent money to an attorney named Larry Kennaman in St. Joseph. When I tried to fallow up the attorney couldn't talk to me about the case. I just have been talking to Johnathon Kieser my brother over the last couple months. I just moved back to St. Joseph MO I can't let him sit there and do nothing.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately, there may be very little that he can do. Upon conviction, he had the right to appeal but a notice that he intended to exercise that right had to be filed within 10 days of the judgment. If he missed that deadline and could show good cause as to why, he would have up to a year from the judgment to file a lat notice of appeal. If he's been in for 5 years, then he either appealed his case already and lost it, or he is time barred from exercising it now except in a small handful of circumstances, most of which are technical.

At this point, old cases can only be reviewed again if there when there is newly discovered evidence of the sort that would have resulted in an acquittal but which nobody could have known about at the time or if, for example, the law under which he was convicted was overturned as unconstitutional, or it was discovered that the court lacked jurisdiction over the offense. Without something like that, it's too late to get the matter reviewed.

That means about the only thing he may be able to do is to apply to the governor of his state for a commutation of his sentence (clemency). The governor has the power to do that to prevent an injustice. I am attaching the application form for him to fill out. Clemency is a longshot, but so is every other post-conviction remedy.

As you are not all that clear about what transpired, there may be more that he can do. You may want to contact a local post-conviction (appellate) criminal lawyer and have him speak to your brother and get the full background of his case to see if there is anything else still available to him. On the basis of what you've told me, there doesn't appear to be but neither you nor I know enough about what happened to be 100% sure of that.