Rainwater Law Group

Effective Criminal Defense

Bemore v. Chappell, No 12-99005 [June 9, 2015]

Bemore v. Chappell

The petitioner raised a conflict of interest claim that his defense counsel was involved in the fraudulent misuse of defense funds, the court found no evidence that an actual conflict of interest affected his lawyer's performance because overcharging the court has no "inherent tendency to dissuade counsel from loyalty to his client." The petitioner also made several ineffective assistance of counsel claims in both the guilt and penalty phases. The court found trial counsel's investigation and preparation of the alibi defense constituted deficient performance where counsel 1) expended minimal effort that failed to alert him to critical flaws in the alibi presented; and 2) failed to investigate a viable alternative mental health defense. The court found no prejudice from these errors at the guilt phase but found prejudice in the penalty phase on the failure to investigate and present a mental health defense as it is imperative that all relevant mitigating information be unearthed 

blog comments powered by Disqus