Arizona residents who find themselves accused of criminal charges can sometimes feel there is no hope for a successful defense. It is important for all persons to remember that a defense is their right under the law and that even includes the appeal process. This is the case regardless of the nature of the alleged offenses including theft, murder, drug crimes and more.
One man currently in prison and sentenced to death originally is experiencing this today. A United States Circuit Court of Appeals has recently ruled that his initial death sentence may not have been appropriate, opening up the possibility that he may be released from his death row status. The heart of the decision was based upon information that was never provided during the initial trial. This information may have indicated that the defendant was negatively impacted by a traumatic brain injury that resulted from a vehicle accident that happened four years before his alleged murder of two people during a fraudulent cocaine sale.
It is being asserted that had the defendant’s attorney provided such details to the judge at the time he was first sentenced, death may not have been ordered due to his mental capacity which may have been compromised after a serious accident in 1985. The murders for which he was sentenced to death happened in 1989. It is unknown at this time if the latest ruling will stand or be altered.
Persons who are arrested for drug possession or other drug crimes may wish to contact a lawyer for assistance. Getting professional input on how to navigate the judicial system is one thing that can help defendants during a difficult time.
Source: Tucson.com, “Ruling could get man off death row for drug-related killing,” Howard Fischer, December 29, 2014