So here we go again – another Case o’ the Week from the Ninth Circuit Blog deserves our attention. Headlines: Prosecutor’s Mis-statements Result in Overturned Death Penalty. But not here, in Idaho. The case is out of Nevada, and the issue was whether statements made by the prosecutors in voir dire and sentencing violated the Defendant’s 6th and 14th amendment due process rights. Apparently the prosecutors told jurors that even if they gave the Defendant a "life without the possibility of parole" sentence, he might still be released. Survey says – do it all over again and don’t say stupid stuff like that again! Does this mean that Mr. Sechrest, the convicted killer, is going free? Not hardly! It simply means that the State must re-sentence him. Could he again be sentenced to death? YES. But that’s the thing about due process – it has to have some meat on that bone to keep the playing field something close to level. You can find out more about the Sechrest case here where the decision is available for your review.
What does this have to do with your case? Everything! You have the right to a fair trial. If that trial is not fair, if the government does not play by the rules, an appellate court may be called upon to decide whether you received the "process" you were "due." But by far the best message I can give you if charged with a crime – get the best lawyer you can afford. Your life and liberty hang in the balance. Check out our prior posts on questions to ask the attorney you are thinking of hiring by searching under the category Assistance of Counsel, and call me if you need help finding just the right lawyer for your case. It may be me – or it may not. Either way I am happy to talk to you.