Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

The Right to Keep Your Lawyer

Posted by Maggie on January 28, 2008

In the recent discussions of Nichols, a few other troubling cases have come to light. One is back in the spotlight. It’s another death penalty case, this one in Pike County, where appointed attorneys weren’t getting paid and the case was potentially going to be put on hold. So the DA asked the Judge to remove those attorneys and bring in the local PD. Sounds good to the Judge, and he grants the motion. It ignores a lot of things. Like the fact that local PD’s are no longer equipped to handle death penalty cases. They already have a caseload that’s difficult to manage. And now they’re getting thrown in to a case that is approaching the trial stage.

Now a Motion has been filed with the Georgia Supreme Court, asking them to put previous counsel back in place. It seems the motion was filed by Stephen Bright, Ed Garland, and Don Samuel; prestigious members of the bar who are stepping in to do their part. They’re not the private attorneys on the case or the PD’s who’ve now been thrown in.

Technically, the appeal of this decision has already been denied without being heard. So this is most likely a Motion for Reconsideration. Those aren’t the easiest things to get granted, but it’d be nice to actually have the Court apply their precedent in this kind of situation. And it’d be a good standard to set for Nichols as well.

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