An Alabama death row inmate, Charles Lawhorn, received a bit of clemency from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals last week. Mr. Lawhorn was convicted of an Alabama murder for hire and sentenced to death. The vaunted 11th Circuit denied Mr. Lawhorn a new trial but stated he deserved a new sentencing hearing because his lawyer(if you want to call him that) did not give a closing argument during the sentencing phase of his Alabama capital murder trial. Mr. Lawhorn's attorney stated he believed that by not giving a closing statement it would prevent the prosecution from making a closing argument. The Eleventh Circuit Criminal Court of Appeals stated that Mr. Lawhorn's lawyer was mistaken about the law and that with adequate legal research he would have known about his mistaken belief. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals states,
The attorney's "failure to present a closing argument prejudiced Lawhorn because there is a reasonable probability that, but for his unprofessional error, the result of the sentencing proceeding would have been different."
My question for the 11th Circuit Circuit Court of Appeals is simple, if Mr. Lawhorn's attorney is this incompetent during the sentencing phase of the trial, how can you say his lawyer was competent during the trial itself?
Furthermore, the 11th Circuit disagreed with U.S. District Judge U.W. Clemon of Birmingham, who in 2004 had overturned Lawhorn's conviction, ruling that his confession had been obtained improperly and should be suppressed. But the state attorney generals office appealed to the 11th Circuit, which resulted in last week's order reinstating his conviction. Judge Clemon ruled correctly that Mr. Lawhorn's right to counsel had been violated and any confession should have been suppressed. Mr. Lawhorn gave a confession five days after asking to see a lawyer and was never provided one. This is a basic fundamental right and was clearly violated. Yet, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in its infinite wisdom, could care less. Some might argue that Mr. Lawhorn is getting what he deserves, but its a slippery slope to oppression when your basic rights are trampled.
My office will fight against this kind of oppression at every turn. If you find yourself in trouble with the law, or you find your rights being violated in the State of Alabama, the lawyers and attorneys at my office will work tirelessly to defend your Constitutionally protected rights. Just like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and the founders of this country, your rights to fair and impartial trials, your rights to competent representation, your right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures of your person and property,and your personal freedom are my ultimate goals. I am a Birmingham, Alabama attorney and lawyer who will do whatever it takes to defend your rights. I consider myself a patriot and criminal defense lawyer, and criminal defense attorneys and lawyers, along with my brothers and sisters in the military, are some of the last true patriots in America. If you find yourself up against the might of the oppressive state and its powerful prosecution, contact the lawyers and attorneys of Eversole Law today. I will defend your rights in all Alabama courts, the 11th Circuit Court of Criminal Appeals, and to the Supreme Court of the United States if necessary.