Saturday, January 13, 2018

Release Me --- Post-Conviction Relief is not for the Faint of Heart

Wilson Phillips hit, Release Me, is about love and loss of a romantic relationship. You and your loved ones may have lost relationships due to the court process and be looking for release of another sort. You may seek to obtain a new trial for a loved one who was wrongfully convicted of a crime.

You may want to tell the court that it did not really find what it was looking for, so release your loved one, and let a new trial occur. The problem --- it's not that easy.  The standards for post-conviction relief proceedings are stringent and do not rely upon the adage - "he didn't do it, so let him go."

After an appeal, a post-conviction relief motion may be considered, generally, for newly discovered evidence; for ineffective assistance of trial counsel; and ineffective assistance of appellate counsel.  When you argue your counsel was ineffective, you have to prove that counsel's performance was below standards of reasonableness that cannot be explained by ANY strategy, and that the deficient performance led to a different result in the trial. So, not only must the post-conviction attorney prove that your loved one was convicted of burglary with an attorney who was so bad they had no redeeming qualities, but the quality of your loved ones' attorney was so bad, that is the only reason for the guilty verdict.  This is a pretty hefty standard. This begs the Court to uphold counsel's effectiveness.  Ineffective assistance of counsel will generally only be a grounds wherein there are cases that are likely won and lost on evidence that is based upon credibility of witnesses and wherein there is not a lot of solid physical evidence to corroborate witness testimony.

*The opinions expressed are of the blogger only and were not intended as legal advice or as an avenue to open a lawyer-client relationship.