June 01, 2013

Delaware Prisoner in Urgent Need of Assistance

The ABA Death Penalty Representation Project is urgently seeking volunteer counsel to represent a Delaware prisoner in the direct appeal of his conviction and death sentence. The client was allowed to represent himself at trial despite a clear lack of knowledge and understanding of legal proceedings and evidentiary rules. During trial, he used a book titled "Representing Yourself in Court" as his reference. Throughout the guilt and penalty phases, the prosecuting attorneys made comments about the prisoner’s decision to represent himself. The prosecution also made factual assertions about the defendant's guilt in front of the jury, which the judge called "inappropriate" but still declined to issue a curative instruction. There may also be some issues regarding the client’s mental health. Volunteer assistance is needed to develop and present his direct appeal to the Supreme Court of Delaware. Volunteer counsel will have the assistance of a very experienced capital defender. No out-of-pocket costs are anticipated.

If you are interested in learning more about this case, please contact the Project at 202-662-1738 or deathpenaltyproject@americanbar.org