The Costly Consequences of Ineffective Representation
Dec. 28, 2022
After an arrest in Kansas, the alleged defendant must go through the criminal justice system to determine if they are guilty or not. Unluckily, many individuals have been wrongfully convicted as a result of ineffective assistance from their defense lawyer. An incompetent attorney can overlook crucial facts or argue a case poorly.
This was the unfortunate situation of Kevin Strickland, who spent over 40 years behind bars for a wrongful homicide conviction. A highly-skilled Kansas criminal defense attorney can help you understand the costly consequences of ineffective representation and outline an effective defense strategy for your case.
At Richman Law Office LLC, I’m dedicated to offering comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation to clients facing criminal charges. As your attorney, I can fight aggressively to uphold your legal rights and refute the allegations against you with overwhelming evidence. My firm is proud to serve clients across Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.
Ineffective representation (or ineffective assistance) by legal counsel happens when an alleged offender’s defense lawyer fails to represent their client effectively during a criminal trial, generally due to negligence. A great example of ineffective representation was the 1979 triple murder conviction of Kevin Strickland – one of the longest wrongful convictions in U.S. history.
In June 1979, Kevin Strickland, now 63, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for three murders – John Walker (20), Sherri Black (22), and Larry Ingram (21). Unfortunately for Strickland, this was a case of identifying the wrong perpetrator. In fact, there was no physical evidence linking Strickland to the crime scene. The only alleged witness, Cynthia Douglas, identified Strickland but later recanted her testimony that she picked the “wrong guy.”
Despite the fact that the other defendants – Vincent Bell and Kilm Adkin – who pleaded guilty to the murder charges stated that Strickland wasn’t involved, he was still convicted by the jury. Some years later, Douglas recanted her testimony through an email with the subject line “wrongfully charged.”
Douglas’ recantation eventually became the bottom line of the appeal which later got Strickland exonerated. In a case where there was no physical evidence linking the alleged defendant to the crime scene, a wrongful conviction could have been prevented if Strickland’s defense counsel had represented him effectively.
The Consequences of Ineffective Representation
Here are some potential consequences of having ineffective assistance from a legal counsel in your criminal case:
Loss of freedom as a result of imprisonment
Lengthier or unjustified prison sentence
Increased or harsher penalties
Failure to raise certain motions
Unfortunately, ineffective representation might lead to the defendant getting wrongfully convicted. Moreover, a criminal conviction or record can jeopardize the defendant’s personal reputation, freedom, career, and future opportunities. Therefore, when arrested and charged with a crime, it is imperative that you retain a practiced criminal defense lawyer that will handle your case effectively.
Qualities of an Effective Defense Attorney
Here are some important qualities of an effective defense lawyer:
The lawyer must possess an in-depth legal understanding and extensive experience representing individuals charged with similar crimes.
The defense counsel should be able to review every aspect of your case and carry out an in-depth investigation.
The attorney must help evaluate and determine the possible strategies to help fight your charges.
The lawyer must know where and when to be aggressive.
The legal counsel should uphold your rights and help you make intelligent decisions.
The attorney should offer objective and unbiased opinions about your different legal options.
The attorney must have connections with the local legal community and other authorities involved in your case.
The lawyer must be able to listen attentively, communicate intelligently, and establish interpersonal relationships with you.
Taking the qualities mentioned above into consideration can help you make informed decisions when hiring a legal counsel for your criminal defense. Call my firm – Richman Law Office LLC – today to get the skilled guidance and reliable legal representation you need in your case.
Trusted & Experienced Legal Representation
Facing criminal charges can be scary and overwhelming. Unfortunately, ineffective representation can cost an alleged defendant many years of freedom. To increase the chance that you do not become wrongfully convicted or suffer the maximum penalties, hiring a highly-skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorney is critical.
At Richman Law Office LLC, I have devoted my career to handling criminal cases and protecting individuals arrested and charged with a crime from the worst possible penalties. As your attorney, I can investigate every aspect of your case and strategize a solid defense to help fight your charges. I will help navigate the Kansas judiciary system and make sure those accusations don’t ruin your life.
Contact me at Richman Law Office LLC today to schedule a simple case evaluation. I can offer you the vigorous representation you need in your case and increase your chances of a brighter tomorrow. My firm is proud to serve clients across Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.